ORONO - Fans of Rodgers and Hammerstein are in for a treat this week as the UMaine School of Performing Arts prepares for an extraordinary showcase. Monday night was the first time the orchestra and choir came together to rehearse, and for the students who are directing it, it's been quite the whirlwind.
"Marry Mr. Snow" from Carousel is just one of the many classics UMaine students will perform this coming Friday, during an "Evening of Rodgers and Hammerstein," a performance that has been in the works since last April!
"It's been great. Everyone has taken initiative and stepped up to the plate and helped out a lot," Ben McNaboe, director of the show, says. "It was definitely more than just one or two people behind this thing, it's been a team effort."
A team of students, the production run by these individuals.
"We're kind of running it on a bit of a professional level where there aren't scheduled rehearsals," Justin Zang, a soloist and chorus member, says. "It's more like we're learning things on our own, which is great because it helps you build to become a better musician."
"In the beginning we were all questioning where it was going to go," Hope Milne, a soloist and chorus member, says. "It's a huge commitment, but it's a big deal for students to be able to put this together."
One of those reasons being because of the number of people involved, 90 orchestra members and vocalists total.
"It's something we don't do as often as we should, working between a large number of instrumentalists and vocalists," McNaboe explains.
"It's extremely exhilarating, so how could you pass it up," Ira Kramer, another soloist and chorus member, says.
And when it came to music, the students say it wasn't tough at all.
"It's such timeless music," McNaboe says. "I think the thing about Rodgers and Hammerstein's music is that everybody can hum an 'R&H' tune, everyone can hum "Do Re Mi" or "Sound of Music". It's music that speaks to a lot of generations and it's never growing old."
"You can connect to it because maybe it's a song you've heard somewhere and it brings back certain kinds of memories," Milne explains. "It's absolutely beautiful music and it touches you in a way that a lot of music can't."
The show is Friday, January 17th, at 7:30 in the Hauk Auditorium.