April 30--With plans for the annual spring musical up in the air, performing arts students at Kentucky Wesleyan College had to think quickly about an alternative.
"People were asking about the musical, so we had to do something," said Michael Stone, a KWC senior and president of the Wesleyan Singers.
Stone initiated the idea of a Spring Sing.
The Wesleyan Singers will present the first Spring Sing, "Salsa and Sondheim," at 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday in the Winchester Center's Rogers Hall at KWC, 3000 Frederica St.
"With this being such a trying school year, the seniors wanted to give something back," said junior Ginny Weant. "This event is their gift."
She said the singers plan to make the Spring Sing an annual tradition to complement their Christmas tradition, "A Festival of Lessons and Carols."
"It's also a way to bring the community together to celebrate music, and to honor Dr. (Paul) Oakley's memory," she said citing the November death of the group's director and professor. "He played such a big role in all of our lives."
Weant is part of the event committee and drew the image of Stephen Sondheim for the promotional materials.
Stone said he chose the iconic composer and songwriter to highlight his influence on musical theater.
"He pushed the envelope and musicals stopped being frilly," Stone said. "He makes people think and face their problems. When we think of composers -- Bach, Beethoven, all the greats -- we remember that they did something to take their field to the next level. People will look back at Sondheim that way."
The program features Sondheim's works from Broadway musicals including "Sweeney Todd," "Company," "Gone With the Wind" and "Into the Woods."
There will also be a catered Tex-Mex dinner and a silent auction. Proceeds will go to the Wesleyan Singers for routine costs, such as sheet music, and for a reserve fund for singing opportunities that include travel, Stone said.
Six of the choir's seniors will graduate in May. Stone said he's proud of the group's efforts, but they couldn't have done it without support.
"We had this great plan but we also had academics to focus on, so it was more than we prepared for, with this being our first time," Stone said. "LouAnn Bowersox (administrative assistant to the president) took personal time to make sure we'd have a successful event and we thank her for that."
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling 852-3104.
Angela Oliver, 691-7360, email@example.com
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