Performing in ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ Teaches Campers That They Have “A lotta livin’, learnin’, and workin’

Jul 14, 2011. 8:00 p.m.

altA group of performers and musicians from Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School’s ‘Summer Knights Performing Arts Camp” will present “Bye Bye Birdie” on Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. at 4949 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami 33137, 305.751.8367, www.acnd.net.

Selecting the perfect summer production came from one day listening to “Lotta Living To Do” on satellite radio. “Obviously, it’s young and fun  – what could be bad? And you know, every single song is good, very good, or downright excellent,” says Robin Alexander, the camp’s choreographer and director. She adds, “It has lots of parts and offers the chance to do some dancing, but in a free flowing fun way. Not too stressful.”

This year Ms. Alexander and Band Director Mr. Ray Lee Johanson are teaching a small group of middle school age students (who attend either the ACND’s middle school or area schools such as St. Rose of Lima in Miami Shores) production basics that includes singing, dancing, set-design, or learning an instrument.

Ms. Alexander comments, “Small groups are interesting.  It supports my theory that in any random population there’s enough talent to pull off a production.” And, she can always find the right part for the right student emphasizing, “Sometimes you have to be creative. For example, I have one 9 year old who is really responsible and talented but she isn’t nearly the same size as the others and is way too good for the chorus. So I made her Albert’s mother, an unusual comic character – so her smallness just makes it funnier. Old moms can be shorter than their sons!”

Most importantly, the camp teaches students life skills. “They interact with other kids they wouldn’t normally interact with – different neighborhoods, different skills, different financial and educational backgrounds, religion/ethnicity, you name it. It’s everything you hear about sports team bringing kids together – except there are no losses, only wins. They have to work hard even when they don’t want to,” says Ms. Alexander.

“There’s lots of grumbling, but they also waltz through the corridors humming tunes they’d never have heard. You can’t compare a Charles Strouse number to what they listen to today,” explains Ms. Alexander who stresses that students reap great rewards from the experience. “They get to experience that big things don’t come from five minutes of effort.  It’s teamwork, it’s discipline, it’s self-esteem. Win, win, win.”

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and admission donations are very welcome. For more information, visit www.acnd.net.

Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School
4949 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33137
305.751.8367
www.acnd.net

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