On Wednesday afternoon, I received the following message from the new Great Lakes Center for the Arts. “Please call me ASAP about LTYC singing with Matthew Morrison Friday night.”
FYI, Matthew Morrison was Mr. Schuster on the CBS television series “Glee” he performed on Broadway in “Footloose,” originated the role of Link Larkin in the Broadway hit “Hairspray”, starred in the revival of “South Pacific” at Lincoln Center and starred as J.M. Barrie in the musical “Finding Neverland.”
Here was the situation we faced – on Friday evening, six of our members were singing in the final concert of the Young Americans summer camp at the Harbor Springs Performing Arts Center, two were in southern Michigan at band camp, several
others had jobs and our director, Kevin Wells was downstate with his seriously ill father so what could we say other than “YES.”
With Kevin’s blessing we got on the phone and contacted the remaining choir members and found that most of the boys (young men) could attend a Thursday evening rehearsal, a Friday rehearsal and sing in the concert. We then expanded our search to recent alumni members and found seven of our recent choir alums who would be able to change their work schedules to join us. Also, Heather Russell our founding choir director, who is Education Director at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts, agreed to rehearse the choir and prepare them for the concert.
To make a long story short, they learned and memorized the music it two short rehearsals and did a beautiful job and were loved by the sold out audience. There was also much excitement after the concert when the choir members had a short session for a chat and photos with Michael. He was most gracious and complimentary of their performance.
A great job was done by Heather Russell, Mikayla Cerrudo ( former choir member and intern at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts), Amy Rhudy (former choir accompanist and now on staff at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts), Brenda Bell (VWB President), and Kim Cerrudo (VWB Executive Director).
~ Jack Kukuk, VWB Artistic Director