Archived Story

‘Wizard of Oz’ next musical

Published 9:40pm Thursday, May 13, 2010

By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News

Director Meredith Marrs announced through Choir Director Jeff Robinson Thursday night that the spring 2011 musical will be “The Wizard of Oz.”

Robinson in turn announced that the Bakeman Scholarship is being awarded to eighth grade choir member Andrea Hatter, who will study art this summer at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp near Muskegon.

As is traditional, Robinson and sixth grade choir director Mike Petersen combined their vocalists for a spirited preview of “The Musical World of Walt Disney (Celebrating 100 Years of Magic” – a medley of “Seize the Day,” “Son of Man” and “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” – on vine-overhung “Jungle Book” risers that will be performed in full next Thursday at the middle school Performing Arts Center.

Dogwood’s districtwide Dowagiac Union Schools Fine Arts Nightplayed to its usual capacity crowd in the DUHS gymnasium while an art exhibit filled the cafeteria and corridors by students of Dean Hill, Dan VandenHeede, Janet Hurlbert, Bonnie Latourette and Ginger Cloud.

Marrs’ “Grease” cast reunited for a reprise of Danny Zuko (Isaac Longden) and Sandy Dumbrowski (Kaye Swartz), Rizzo (Miss Dowagiac Katie Haneberg) and Kenickie (Brad Ruminer) and all the other T Birds and Pink Ladies from Rydell High.

C.J. Brooks’ Jazz Band led the evening off with “Gospel John,” which starts quietly with a trumpet solo by Jessica Martin and soars like Maynard Ferguson’s band used to play it.
With their high energy contagious, Brooks added a second selection, Herbie Hancock’s “Water Melon Man,” which features most of the saxophone section, Chris Murray in a range only dogs can hear, and Ryan Bassett on altos and Megan Corey on tenor.

A combined chorus made of singers from all four elementary schools, Sister Lakes, Kincheloe, Patrick Hamilton and Justus Gage, directed by Tara Fletcher, Carrie Peffers and Karen Eckman, presented “Sweet Water” and “The Quest for Peace.”

Alex Hubbell’s Dowagiac Middle School sixth grade band played “Mt. Rainier March, then seventh graders followed with “Shaker Trilogy.”
After the choir interlude, Hubbell’s eighth grade DMS band played “Whitewater Journey.”

The finale, as always, was the roof-rattling Chieftain Marching Band, not only playing “Time Warp,” but jumping to the left and right like in “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

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