Choral ensembles and soloists from Redmond High School (RHS) and Redmond Junior High (RJH) will star in two performances of “Night on Broadway.”
The shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 1-2 at the RHS Performing Arts Center, 17272 NE 104th St.
Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students. Children 5 and under are free.
The RHS Chamber Choir practiced some of the tunes they’ll sing at “Night on Broadway” — medleys from “Les Miserables” and Irving Berlin — at Disneyland earlier this month. That’s a pretty posh gig. But there, they just stood on risers. For “Night on Broadway,” they’ve got to “give more, more, more,” said Arianna Guthrie, vocal music director at RHS and RJH.
Student choreographer Alexis Connell said she’d envisioned the stage moves to go with the music “since the beginning of the school year.” But it wasn’t until after spring break that she and student directors Jack Terrill and Jessica Black began running through that part of the show with their peers.
Guthrie loves finding ways to give audiences extra entertainment value and to make her curriculum multi-dimensional.
A minimum of one credit of visual or performing arts is now a high school graduation requirement in the state of Washington. Public, four-year colleges and universities look for a minimum of one year spent in arts training. Three or four years are preferred by highly selective colleges/universities.
And the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has specific Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs) for the arts, just as with other subjects:
1. The student understands and applies arts knowledge and skills.
2. The student demonstrates thinking skills using artistic processes.
3. The student communicates through the arts.
4. The student makes connections within and across the arts, to other disciplines, life, cultures and work.
While rehearsing the segment from “Les Miserables,” students talked about the French Revolution and the emotions conveyed in songs such as “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Castle on a Cloud.”
“Think of the child Cosette and what she’s feeling. Loneliness … despair … longing,” Guthrie coached. She showed them how to put movement into the rousing finale of “Do You Hear the People Sing.” It’s about freedom, support for a noble cause, she reminded. Discussing the stories behind the songs is a great tie-in to history, she pointed out.
And Guthrie’s students interact with others in the arts departments to share knowledge and opportunities for exposure.
Graphic art student Rachel Asplund designed posters to assist them with publicity and drama students were working with the choral students on costuming.
In addition to the soaring anthems of “Les Mis,” there’ll be lighthearted music at “Night on Broadway,” too. The RJH Concert Choir will perform a medley from “Grease.”
For information about “Night on Broadway,” e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call RHS at (425) 498-7130.