A concert for computers
Vocalist Melissa Christopher rehearses a number for an upcoming program in Carmichaels. Behind her, from left, dancing and providing harmonies are Stacy Bargerstock, Natalie Ray, Joanna Walker, Katrina Pavone and Krissi Blasinsky.
Tara Kinsell / Observer-Reporter
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CARMICHAELS – When the wrapping paper is at the curb and cabin fever begins to set in there is an alternative between taking another nap and drinking more eggnog, right in your backyard. On Dec. 29 at 8 p.m. the haunting harmonies of “The Prayer,” wistful bluesy sound of “Please Come Home for Christmas,” and an Elvis-like soulful rendition of “Blue Christmas,” will be part of a nearly two-hour production being held at the Carmichaels Area High School Auditorium.
The program is a production of RiSZing Star Productions and is being co-sponsored by Carmichaels Senior Activity Center. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the cost of tickets is $10 each with proceeds being used to purchase iPads for autistic learning support classrooms in Southeastern Greene, Jefferson-Morgan and Carmichaels Area School districts.
“The theater company was looking for a community partner and when the members of our senior center board heard about it, they were more than happy to be a part of it to help the kids,” said Mary Bokat, manager of the center. “We hope to do this every year and to select a local way to make an impact that people can get behind and see the result of their efforts.”
Community is a word that fits the production from start to finish. Musical director, Joanna Walker is also the choral director for Carmichaels School District. Co-directors Susie Zalar and Frank Ricco serve as artistic director of the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmichaels and band master of Carmichaels Legion Post 400 Band, respectively.
Ricco, on bass guitar, will join with a group of musicians who have more than 200 years of combined experience as they accompany an amazingly talented group of vocalists from Greene, Fayette and Washington counties. The musical selections for the show range from traditional Christmas carols to a festive and upbeat rendition of the classic hymn, “Joyful, Joyful,” as performed in the movie “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.”
The goal for the fundraising is to be able to provide six iPads to each of the three school districts for exclusive usage in the respective district to enhance the learning experience of autistic students enrolled there, Bokat said.
The cost of one 16 GB IPad is $329, according to Zalar and Ricco, and they noted they already have received donations from the community to help them achieve their goal. Anyone wishing to donate to the effort can do so by submitting a check made payable to Carmichaels Senior Citizens, Inc., a nonprofit organization.
There are too many names to list individually all of the vocalists and musicians who will be performing at the concert but both Ricco and Zalar said it continues to amaze them at the amount of talent that exists in the community-at-large.
“There are so many really gifted people out there,” Zalar said, noting they just seem to come out of the woodwork when they are needed for an event like this.
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