Sunday, March 23, 2014

Does March Mean Musical Madness?

It's March, and the Spring season of musical productions at local high schools is upon us. Considering that I was raised on musical theatre, and that Margo adores musicals, it is amazing and really pretty silly that we don't go to more of them.

We were so impressed with last year's production of "The Music Man" at Oakland Mills High School that we made a point of coming back this year for "Once Upon a Mattress." It was fabulously entertaining. There is one more performance at two o'clock today--go!

I could write a pseudo-professional review here, but that would miss the point. OMHS has put together a team of teachers who know how to support the students and let their unique gifts shine. Philip Hale is working with an on-stage pit orchestra, Steven Fleming is the theatrical director, Joshua Konick of Oakland Mills Middle School is the Music Director. The orchestra ably supported the performers onstage. The dramatic direction allowed the students to use their talents to move the plot forward and entertain and engage the audience. The music direction resulted in some of the healthiest high school singing I have heard in a long, long time, both solo and ensemble. None of those things happen by accident.

There are more adults whose names I don't have in front of me: choreographer, lighting and sound, sets and costumes, programs, tickets, concessions, staff who supervise backstage, staff who clean and prepare the theatre and school is truly a team. A network of support to allow young people to take risks, create, enjoy, share, and how to work successfully as part of a team.

The best teaching is done with the goal of the students being able to take wing and fly on their own. I think that the true assessment is not in any paper and pencil test, but rather in moments like these.

Go see this show if you can today. Or choose another of the ones coming up this Spring.


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