by Amber Carter
Immanuel High School’s choir department is performing The Wizard of Oz for their 2016 Spring Musical. The cast stars Seniors and Annie Regier as Glinda the Good Witch and Aunt Em. Both students participated and performed in Immanuel’s Chamber Choir’s fall performance of The Secret Garden. The ensemble for Oz comprises of the chamber choir, concert choir, men’s and women’s choir, and elementary and junior high choirs. Director Rick Robbins chose this show to give as many students as possible the ability to perform and gain show experience as well as great memories. “It’s always fun to put on a kindergarten through twelfth grade show,” Robbins says. “It’s been five years since we included the younger kids in The Music Man.” He also hopes the musical appeals to audiences of all ages.
The junior high and elementary school choirs make their appearance in Munchkin Land, and they are directed by Immanuel alumni, and now staff member, Jordan Laemmlen. The high school men’s, women’s, and concert choir are featured in the Emerald City as Ozians. The high school cast rehearses during the school day in their choir class under Director Robbins.
Robbins’s son, Zachary Robbins, is excited to play the part of Tin Man. “It’s been really fun working with everyone in the cast and working through all the costume and set issues,” he says. “It’s been a fun challenge to make and watch my character come alive.”
With eleven backdrops, numerous set pieces, and a flying system, there have been many challenges to overcome, Robbins pointed out. However, it will only make the show more fun and exciting to watch.
Immanuel’s Chamber Choir offers many opportunities for its members to grow in their abilities and is the main feature of Oz. It has over twenty members from the sophomore, junior, and senior classes at Immanuel and carries incredible talent. Sophomore Lauren Belt says, “Working with this cast has been great, and it’s taught me a lot. I’m also excited to be a part of one of my childhood favorite musicals!” Belt has enjoyed her first year in chamber and is looking forward to the next two years and what they will bring.
Two shows were performed on Friday, February 12, during the day for elementary schools around the area such as Traver and Clay before it officially opened. The first public show was Saturday, February 13, at 3 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. show. The 13th Annual Valentine’s Day dinner was held in the Immanuel gym between the afternoon and the evening performances on Sunday, February 14. Four more shows will be held on Thursday, February 18, at 7 p.m., Saturday, February 20, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, February 21, at 3 p.m. at 1128 S Reed Ave. in Reedley. There will also be a preview of the show at Immanuel’s visitation day, on February 18. Tickets for the show can be purchased at the door before the show. Come see the land of Oz come to life and support Immanuel High School.