As we wave goodbye to the month of March and move swiftly into spring, let’s pause for a moment to reflect on two dramatically exciting events that recently took place in our district – the Suffern Middle School and Suffern High School musicals.
I am in awe of these student-centered productions, as they continue to grow bigger and more entertaining each year. The time and devotion put forth by each member of the cast, crew and faculty involved in The Sound of Music and Chess was more than obvious. The musicals were immeasurable and exceptional. In addition to transforming our stages into scenes from foreign lands (as was the case in both shows), these productions help to shape our students into creative, organized, and confident performers.
Suffern High School took the critically acclaimed Chess (which is set for a Broadway revival this year) and created instant fans of 1980’s-era alternative music. The show was directed by Randall Schwartz, the pit musicians conducted by Daniel McCarter and the sets designed by Daniel McCarter and Rich Murry. The students, they brought the show to life! Whether it was the 65 flawless musicians or the 75-member cast of powerful voices, each scene took my breath away. The Broadway-caliber set design, run by 23 stage crew and 9 tech crew members, dazzled the audience with a fully-illuminated chessboard. Bravo!
Suffern Middle School’s The Sound of Music was equally impressive. A small, but powerful pit orchestra, led by Constance Shearer, consisted of students who guided the show’s performers from one musical number to the next. (I found myself singing along on several occasions) The gifted cast of 7th and 8th graders was professional, talented and focused. The show’s director Nicole Pagnotta and choreographer, DaynaMarie DiSiena knew exactly how to showcase their performer’s talents. The sets, developed by Gary Blake, provided the perfect backdrop to the performances that took us through the story of the Von Trapp family.
Congratulations to all who were involved in these performances! Thank you for your sharing your talents with our community. The only negative, we must wait another year to experience your encore performances!