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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Ancient halls celebrate new performances

Historic halls resound as young voices, instrumental groups and actors join together for an unforgettable night celebrating the performing arts. This union of artistic talent will take place at the annual Veterans’ Memorial Performing Arts concert on Feb. 22.

Four years ago, performing arts teachers Paul McEntee, Marc Ferguson and Tom McEntee made the decision to combine the efforts of their classes to create a concert that would highlight the skills of each group. They chose the Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium as the location for this event.

The Veterans’ Memorial building is the location of the Legion of Valor Veterans Museum. The Legion of Valor is a prestigious organization founded in 1890 to which service men and women who receive the Medal of Honor or any of the military crosses can apply.

Chuck Monges, a retired Major in the U.S. Army, founded the museum in 1991. Monges convinced the Fresno City Council to allow him to use an abandoned storeroom of the theater in the Fresno Memorial Auditorium. The Legion of Valor Museum is currently the only museum in the nation supported by the Legion of Valor and it has been called the most unique and inspiring military museum in the United States (http://thomas.loc.gov).

In order to continue holding the concert in this historic location, performing arts teachers were forced to move the concert to February rather than holding it in March, as in previous years. This change, however, may prove beneficial.

“I enjoy doing concerts early in the spring,” Paul McEntee, director of bands, said. “It prepares us for festivals that come later.”

The Veterans’ Memorial concert will be the first performing arts concert for choir teacher Aaron Bryan, who joined the staff in fall ’04.

“I am excited to see how we do,” Bryan said. “This is our first performance of the new year. I’m also excited because this is a collaborative effort to present our Fine Arts department. It should be a wonderful night.”

Students are also looking forward to the concert.

“I enjoy hearing and seeing the other groups perform,” Dori Richardson, ’05, said. “It’s also fun to perform some of my favorite [choir] songs.”

Many of the young musicians will take part in more than one performance. This can mean quick wardrobe changes or anxious moments while they try to figure out what to do with their instrument while they sing.

“I’m in both band and jazz band,” Matthew Shattuck, ’07, said. “But I’m lucky because we wear the same clothes and I play the same instrument in both, so I don’t have to change anything.”

In the past, it has been the drama group who has the greatest challenge as they struggle to move sets and props on and off the stage in a timely fashion. This year, however, they have chosen to perform the first act of The Inspector General, a comedy that utilizes very few props.

“We’ve only been working on this play for a couple of weeks,” Tom McEntee, drama instructor, said. “It still needs a bit of work before it will be ready to perform.”

All the groups see this concert as good preparation for future performances as they try out new things they have learned second semester.

The concert will begin at 7:00 p.m. There is no cost for admission.

Drama can next be seen performing selections from The Importance of Being Ernest and The Inspector General in chapel on April 7 and 14 respectively. Band is preparing for the ACSI festival in Modesto in February 25. The Ensemble and Choir will be heading to Sacramento March 2-5 for the ACSI HS Musicale.

For more information on the various performing arts programs contact Paul McEntee at [email protected], Bryan at [email protected], or Tom McEntee at [email protected].

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