Educational program reaches all

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 2, 2008

The Natchez Festival of Music since its inception 18 years ago, has had music education as a big part of its mission. Through the years we have educated thousands of kindergarten through sixth grade students about the joys and rewards of the arts. There is always a good moral to the story as well.

The tradition continues and excitement and anticipation fill the air as the curtain rises each season. This year the educational outreach program is “G Train: The Musical.”

It is our fortune to have the composer Christian McLeer and his partner Monica Harte direct the show. They are outstanding professional artists from New York. The cast of five is dedicated to reaching the children they perform for.

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They are Donald Groves, bartitone from New Mexico now living in New York, Sable Rivera, soprano, a native of New York, Dan Pettit, baritone, from California now living in New York, Hilerie Rensi, mezzo, from New York, and David Schnell, tenor, from Las Vegas, now living in New York. These special artists work very hard to make an indelible mark on this community.

The Natchez Festival of Music continues to improve the lives of children throughout our area. This program is one of the most important investments we can make.

It has been my pleasure to serve as chairman of the educational outreach program for eight years.

It is hard to explain the joy that I have seen from year to year in the eyes of our children. If you are able to donate to this worthy program, please do. If you would like to bring the magic of opera to your school or community please contact me for the 2009 program.

This Saturday, the educational outreach program will be performed for the community at Margaret Martin Peforming Arts Center at 8 p.m. in addition to the Musical Cabaret starring Michael and Jessica Bunchman. Tickets are on sale at Natchez Pilgirmage Tours at the Natchez Visitors Center for $25 for adults and $5 for children.

Sara Blackburn is the educational outreach program chairman.