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Central elementary schools prepping for class musicals

INDEPENDENCE — It's that time of year again at the three elementary schools in the Central School District: children in costumes singing their hearts out in front of their adoring fans -- their parents.

Wendy Bemrose directs third- through fifth-graders Monday at Monmouth Elementary School in preparation for Wednesday's performance of "Seussical."

Photo by Aaron Newton

Wendy Bemrose directs third- through fifth-graders Monday at Monmouth Elementary School in preparation for Wednesday's performance of "Seussical."

November 05, 2013

INDEPENDENCE — It's that time of year again at the three elementary schools in the Central School District: children in costumes singing their hearts out in front of their adoring fans — their parents.

Third- through fifth-grade students at Ash Creek Elementary, Independence Elementary and Monmouth Elementary schools have been rehearsing in their respective music classes for the last few weeks for their upcoming musicals.

MES students kick off the three-week performance slate with a two-night showing of "Seussical," the hit Broadway musical based on the books of Dr. Seuss, Wednesday (today) and Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Central High School auditorium, 1530 Monmouth St., Independence.

"We're doing a mini version of that, so it's adapted for 150 students at a time," said Wendy Bemrose, MES music teacher. "I see the kids twice a week in the classroom, so we've been rehearsing like that for a while."

Bemrose has placed a priority on getting her students on the stage during her time in CSD, with every first- through fifth-grade student performing at least once — those in choir see much more performance time.

"Usually, the younger they are, the less they realize how big it is or how much audience they have," Bemrose said. "When they get a little older, they realize how big it is and it gets a little scarier."

The almost 600-seat auditorium is usually filled with parents and family for each performance, Bemrose said.

Rachel Flugum, music teacher at ACES, is taking on a musical based more in reality than the whacky world of Dr. Seuss.

"It's based off two archeologists who discovered the bones of Lucy (also known as Australopithecus, discovered in 1974)," Flugum said. "It goes through Egypt, Mesopotamia, Ethiopia, Rome and Greece. It gives little stories through each of those areas."

"Dig It! A Musical Tale of Ancient Civilizations" takes students to some of the biggest and most advanced civilizations of the ancient world, teaching them a few things along the way.

ACES students will hit the stage Nov. 13-14 at 7 p.m. at the high school auditorium.

Ending the run of school musicals is IES with "Pirates! The Musical" Nov. 21 at 7 p.m., presented by first-year teacher Amelia Bierly.

"It's about a group of pirates with a stowaway. The pirates end up needing the stowaway to win a singing competition," Bierly said. "I really like being able to give the kids an opportunity to act and do drama."

Each performance is open to the public.

For more information on each musical: ACES, 503-606-3665; IES, 503-838-1322; MES, 503-838-1433.

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