Furry, Meadowlawn Students 'Sparkle' For Musical Demo
The voices of more than a dozen young Pirates have been recorded as part of a demo tape for a new musical. And because of that recording, all students at Furry Elementary and Meadowlawn Intermediate School will get a taste of the opera.
The children, in grades K to 6, were recruited over the summer by Hannah Mathias and Carla Weilnau, the music teachers at Furry Elementary and Meadowlawn Intermediate schools. The students were selected to perform on a demo recording for SPARKLER!, a new musical written by local playwright Marilyn Forster and scored by musician Michael Shirtz.
“They were just absolutely fabulous,” said Ms. Forster. “The kids learned all the music on their own.”
Among the children who performed, Lyman Wilken, a fourth grader at Meadowlawn, participated. He explained it was the first time he was recorded singing – and he was not scared.
“It was good. They had me do a solo,” Lyman said. “My throat hurt from so much singing … It was fun, but hard to memorize the songs.”
The demo recording, along with the script, is a crucial component of the submission that Ms. Forster and Mr. Shirtz will use to promote their musical to theaters and troupes that might perform it. Ms. Forster said she wants the musical to be performed by the Caryl Crane Youth Theatre at the Sandusky State Theatre when it reopens. And, ideally, the cast of the first performances will include the youngsters who performed on the demo recording.
Ms. Forster and Mr. Shirtz rewarded the students with a $1,000 donation to the music programs at Furry and Meadowlawn. The teachers agreed on using the funds to bring in Toledo Opera’s Opera On Wheels for a pair of performances of “Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf” set to Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.”
The performances will be Thursday, November 9 – one for all Furry students and the other for all students at Meadowlawn. The performances, which will be in the Perkins High School auditorium, also factor into the elementary music curriculum of teaching students audience etiquette.
Ms. Mathias says she believes that the children will be very impressed with hearing, seeing, and feeling a live opera performance.
“We could watch a video of an opera,” Ms. Mathias said. “It’s totally different to be there.”
The performances will be closed and for the students and teachers only.
Bravo, young Pirates!