RUMFORD -- The Rumford Association for the Advancement of the Performing Arts will present its 45th annual Musical Christmas Card on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7 and 8, under the direction of Judith Kuhn for the very last time. After directing RAAPA productions for 44 years, Kuhn is ready to relinquish the baton.
Submitted photo For the past 35 years, Gail Dorr, left, has accompanied the RAAPA chorus on the piano while for the past 44 years, Judith Kuhn, right, has directed the chorus in Broadway musicals, dinner theater, and festive Christmas productions.
Kuhn has enjoyed directing musical productions throughout the 1970s and '80s and began producing the RAAPA Christmas shows in 1976 providing opportunities for hundreds of singers to participate in musicals and choral productions. This number includes many students of Rumford High School and Mountain Valley High School who had Kuhn as their high school music teacher and/or took part in the annual high school musical over the span of 27 years. Kuhn retired from teaching in 1996 but has stayed active in music and theater with the RAAPA organization.
This year's Musical Christmas Card theme is "What Does Christmas Mean to You?" Year after year, people walk away from the show saying, "Now I have the Christmas spirit!" The program will consists of several familiar favorites such as "Joy to the World," "White Christmas" and RAAPA's signature song "Christmas In A Small Town." There will also be several less familiar pieces like "Mistletoe and Love," "The Gosh Golliest Day," and the title song "What does Christmas Mean to You?" Between acts, the audience will be entertained by Gail Parent's reading of a Christmas story and an audience sing-a-long.
The chorus will be accompanied on piano by Gail Dorr, who has been involved with RAAPA for over 35 years. Several of the musical pieces include solo segments performed by Jim Robertson, Jeannine Murray, Sylvia Goodman, Izzie Radford-Nash, and Ginny Todd. Audience favorite, Elaine Michaud, will give a solo performance of "O Holy Night."
The RAAPA Dancers will be tapping to Feliz Navidad and swaying to Angel Carol. The dancers are Doreen Jones, Sue Everett, Cindy Christie, and Connie Porter, who doubles as the choreographer for the troupe. The Christmas classic, "Twas the Night Before Christmas" will be acted by the Curtis Rice family. The night will end with the annual live nativity narrated by Angela Oliver which brings to light the reason for the season, the birth of Jesus.
There will be two performances: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the Muskie Auditorium at Mtn. Valley High School. Tickets may be purchased at Bartash and Port to Port in Rumford, Larsen's Electric in Mexico, and the Log Cabin in Dixfield or from any RAAPA member. Tickets will also be available at the door. Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $5 for children under 12. For more information, call 207-369-0205.
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