Goals met, new ones set by students in Perry music, drama departments

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The Perry High School Concert Choir.

The Perry Middle School and High School Vocal Music Department had a very busy and successful first semester of the 2016-2017 school year. We have several announcements and accolades to share with the community as we gear up for an exciting second semester.

In late October, Perry High School junior Breanna Penenger, daughter of Brian and Michelle Penenger of Perry, attained the highest individual honor available to Iowa high school musicians by being selected as a member of the 2016 All-State Chorus.

This is the second year Breanna has been selected for the All-State Chorus. The 2016 festival, held at the Iowa State University campus in November, was the 70th anniversary of this prestigious event.

The All-State music festival is sponsored by the Iowa High School Music Association and the Iowa Music Educators Association.

Also held on the Iowa State University campus in November was the Opus Honor Choir, sponsored by Iowa Choral Directors Association. Perry Middle School eighth grade student Miguel Orduna, son of Alberto Garcia and Sayuri Rubio of Perry, was selected by audition in October to this highest individual honor a middle school singer can achieve.

Iowa State Honor Choir auditions were held in late October, and PHS singer Breanna Penenger was selected for participation in this prestigious event. Dr. James Rodde, director of choral activities at ISU, personally selects students for this elite 100-voice choir. The honor choir will take place on the ISU campus Sunday, Feb. 12 and Monday, Feb. 13.

Seven PHS students were selected for the Meistersinger Honor Choir held at Wartburg College in Waverly Sunday, Jan. 22 and Monday, Jan. 23. Seniors Keegan Eastman, Chelsea Krueger, Haley Vaughn and Karley Whelchel and sophomores Eoin Davis, Adriana Eastman and Beau Nelson will work with guest composer and conductor Jake Runestad.

The annual Jukebox Variety Show will be held Saturday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Perry Performing Arts Center (PAC). This year’s theme is One-Hit Wonders. The high school choirs will be performing as well as selected soloists and small groups.

Middle school choir members will join with the high school for two special songs, and we will again offer our Kid’s Camp for students in grades Kindergarten through fifth. The Kid’s Camp is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 11 from 9-11 a.m. at the PAC. More information will be sent home with elementary students in January.

Tickets for Jukebox Variety Show go on sale Monday, Jan. 23 at a cost of $5 for adults and $4 for students and senior citizens. Tickets may be purchased in the high school office or by calling 515-465-3503.

The music and drama departments are collaborating with departments school-wide for our spring musical production of “Peter Pan.” We are thrilled to have more than 100 PHS students involved in the cast, chorus and crew.

In addition, several students from grades second through eighth from both the Perry Elementary School and St. Patrick’s School will participate as lost boys in the cast.

Three performances of this adaptation of J. M. Barrie’s immortal children’s classic will be staged: Friday, March 31 at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 1 at 1 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m.

Readers of ThePerryNews.com should stay tuned for upcoming information regarding ticket sales and special opportunities to meet the characters from “Peter Pan.”

Our middle school choirs put on a musical production each spring. This year’s show was just announced and is “Seussical Kids,” the Dr. Seuss musical. Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat and all of your favorite Dr. Seuss characters spring to life onstage in “Seussical Kids,” a fantastical musical extravaganza.

Transporting audiences from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus, the narrator — played by the Cat in the Hat — tells the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust containing tiny people called the Whos, including Jojo, a Who child who gets in trouble for thinking too many “thinks.”

Horton’s challenge is twofold. Not only must he protect the Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must also guard an abandoned egg that’s been left in his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him.

Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and emerge triumphant, just as in real life. “Seussical Kids” is great fun for the whole family. The performance is Tuesday, May 9 at 7 p.m. at the PAC. The performance is free.

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