Mark your calendar now

Thursday, October 15, 2009

There is a new TV series, "Glee," that is gaining a lot of attention and critical acclaim. The television show follows the struggles and successes of members of a high school glee club as the club's sponsor attempts to rise above stereotypes and teenage hierarchy issues to build a popular club. The show is funny and includes at least one fabulous musical number in each episode.

This television show served to remind me that there are many students in our various school districts working extremely hard in their chosen extracurricular areas and receiving very little recognition for their efforts. As someone who was involved with the performing arts in high school, I know how much preparation goes into putting on musical performances. My high school produced a fall and spring musical each year, and as a member of the supporting cast (alas I was never the star) and as one of the dancers, I spent hundreds of hours preparing for each show's two weekend performances. We usually played to a small crowd, consisting of a lot of family members, but I loved every second of my stage appearances and relished those curtain call moments.

Over the years, I have had the privilege of attending numerous high school choir and band performances put on by Cassville students, and I have always left the gymnasium impressed and wanting to hear more. Too often these students miss out on the accolades of their community, because their performances are scheduled between athletic events and are often not as highly publicized as sporting events.

Although everyone loves to cheer on the Wildcats, it's equally important for our community to support our band and choir students. When you compare college scholarship opportunities, we have far more students earning their way to college through their band and vocal music participation than their sports participation. That's not to say either is more important, but it is essential that our community and our school districts support all programs equally.

On Monday, Oct. 26, the Barry County community will have a rare opportunity to attend a one-of-a-kind choir concert that will be guest directed by Dr. Rusty Robinson, world-renowned music educator and choir director. Dr. Robinson will be returning to where his teaching career began when he travels to Cassville in just a few weeks to guest direct students in a special choir concert that will include both Cassville and Purdy choir members.

I'm promoting this concert now so that all our readers can put the date on their calendars and make plans to attend this special event, which is sure to be a memorable occasion. I'd love to see a standing-room-only crowd gather in the Cassville High School gym to honor our talented students and to welcome Rusty Robinson back to the town where his career began. If you've never had the pleasure of attending a choir concert, now is your chance. We know you'll be amazed at the talent you witness, and remember, these gifted students are Wildcats too and deserve the support of this community.

Lisa Schlichtman