Holy Rosary brings big band era to school

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December 2, 2014 9:07 AM

Students from Holy Rosary High School are putting on a performance which will feature music and dance from the swing era. - Jon Clarke Photo

The Catholic Youth Leadership Program (CYLP) is bringing the big band era of music and dance to Holy Rosary High School with their yearly production.

The musical show, dubbed Big Band Theory, will be the biggest to date, with 200 students performing 38 songs from the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s, along with a handful of Christmas carols, too. And as the name of the show implies, it will also offer a shout out to a certain TV program; the MCs for the evening will be physics geeks.

Angele Champigny, co-ordinator of the CYLP and play director for the Big Band Theory show, decided to bring the big band era to the stage as an educational foray into some new music for the kids.

“The fun of the music,” she said. “The music is so fun and different for the kids to experience. I’m the swing dance coach, so being able to do that kind of big band swing era is awesome.”

But the play also comes as a way for students of all ages to get together, make friends and have fun and every kid had the opportunity to give it their best shot on the stage, whether they had skills in acting, singing, dance or production.

“It’s our big outreach, so anyone who wants to try out, we’ll find a spot for them,” said Champigny. “They might not be a real performer, but they can do audio or lights. So we try to get as many kids as possible so that they get an experience for what live theatre really is.”

All participants in the show are also members of the CYLP, which also does the Positive Choice tour, runs the school’s music ministry programs and puts on shows for six live bands throughout the year, said Champigny. As for the show, some members of the CYLP have come back hit the stage more than once.

Grade 12 student Ashlynne Ukrainetz has been performing in the yearly theatre since her Grade 8 year.

“I love it. It’s so much fun and you get to meet so many cool people and feel like you accomplished something and helped the community,” she said. “You’re getting kids involved in a program that will give them life-long friends and you’re providing entertainment for the community members.”

The show will be performed for four evenings, from Thursday, Dec. 4 to the following Sunday. Two of the shows will put a spin on things, with a dessert theatre on Friday, Dec. 5 ($18) and an appetizer theatre on the following Saturday ($25). Thursday and Sunday’s show will cost $12 per seat. All shows begin at 7 p.m. while the matinee on Sunday will being at 2.

“I always say the biggest high in life is a standing ovation,” said Champigny and she’s looking forward to give the kids the opportunity to draw that awesome feeling from the theatre, too.

Tickets can be purchased through Holy Rosary High School at 780-875-3600.

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