The Sound of Music fills Albert College
Classic musical and movie, The Sound of Music, seemed like the perfect fit for this year’s production at Albert College, said director Leslie Austin.
“I chose this show this year because we had an exceptionally large amount of really strong female singers at our school, and so we thought this was the perfect year to do it to showcase all of their talents,” she said.
The large cast consisted of 20 actors and 15 crew.
Rosemary Woods, 17, is one of the musically trained pupils Austin referred to. Having taken vocal and piano lessons since the age of 8, Woods seemed to hit every high note with ease while playing lead role, Maria.
Prior to the show, Woods said she wasn’t overly familiar with it, other than some of the well-known songs.
“I’ve grown to love it quite a lot. It’s got some very beautiful messages in it,” she said.
Unlike Woods, vocal director and accompanist Erin Paul said she was all too familiar with The Sound of Music.
“I’ve seen the Julie Andrews movie countless times. I know all the songs,” she said.
According to Paul, having a handful of well-trained student vocalists and simplistic songs meant directing music for the show wasn’t difficult, despite it’s big reputation.
“It’s actually easy music. That’s one of the beauties of The Sound of Music is that the melodies are very sing-able, of course, and the lyrics are memorable,” she said.
For the show, Paul said they decided to keep it small by choosing a two-piano arrangement instead of an orchestra pit. She learned to play the main accompaniment, and twin brothers Zhe Shu (Peter) Zhang and Zhe Zhen (Harry) Zhang each played an act alongside her on a small keyboard.
On the stage, a new scrim used to project images of the location of each scene allowed for minimal set décor.
On opening night, an audience of all ages was welcomed into Memorial Chapel (located within the college), a fitting location for a show involving nuns.
Tom Maracle was one of the family members sitting among the aisles and said he enjoyed the performance.
“We knew that they put a lot of work into it, and it seemed like the work paid off,” said Maracle.
Daughter Savana Maracle played Frau Schmidt the housekeeper as well as a new postulant at the abbey. She too said the show went well.
"It took a lot of time to get right. It was all worth it,” she said.
The process of bringing this show to life started back in September, Austin said.
“It’s very rewarding. It’s a huge time commitment, but it really is a labour of love. And the kids who are here really want to be a part of it so they work really hard and in the end, the result is always better than you would expect so I’m quite proud of them,” Austin said.