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Music and theatre work together to showcase student talent

By Staff | Mar 1, 2017

BARB BARRETT/The Luminary Montgomery High School students (left to right) Austin Bower, Zachary Goliash, Damien Doane and Jermaine Bolden will be part of the musical play “Surface” which was written by the students. It will be performed for the public in the high school auditorium on March 9 at 7 p.m.

MONTGOMERY – A striving performance to showcase their artistic talent for “Music in Our Schools Month” motivated 21 students at Montgomery High School. On Thursday, March 9 an original musical score written by these theatre students titled “Surface” will be shown to the public and student body.

The script was written by the advanced theatre class and the music was written by the song writing class according to instructor, Carina McNear who teaches theater and co-instructor Brian Rehn who teaches the songwriting.

“In Arts Education we have the privilege of encouraging students to present their most authentic talents and personalities,” said McNear and Rehn. “They have been working hard on this since September.”

McNear said the project started as a hallway conversation with a few of the kids and it evolved through an assignment given to them in music class. “We were not originally planning it, but their talent made it happen,” she said.

These are elective courses and the students made their assignments performance-ready according to Rehn. They are interested in music and theater and have learned a lot throughout the year. Damien Doane, a junior, said he has learned to write music in the class. Rehn acknowledged that a lot of the music was written by the students on the computers while solving music writing problems. “They put their creativity to the test,” he said. “The students have gained confidence, skills and talent.”

Austin Bower started with just playing guitar, but then learned how to sing. He will be giving an acoustic solo performance.

“Everyone’s talent is brought forth in their own way,” said Jermaine Bolden who started with a rap song but developed it into a performing monologue. It is pure creativity on their part as they perform individual sounds and emotions, not meant to be “negative” but “real”. There are two acts with a mix of monologues and songs. The play will take about one hour with a combination of theater, lyrics, and instrumental contributions. The name “Surface” reflects a surfacing of feelings. “It has multiple meanings,” said Zachary Goliash, a junior. “It is what you want to hear and see on the surface.”

“They did everything! They have physically recreated their safe place on stage and will be sharing inner dialogues through monologue, music and dance,” McNear explained. “They had good instincts and we helped them along the way. The creativity was there from the start.”

The students have been working on the performance every day during class time. Admission is free and the musical program will be held at 7 p.m. on March 9.

“You can take it in different ways for individual meanings,” added Damien Doane. “The play opens minds to what you have inside. It can go limitless. There is no definitive answer or solution; there is just the moment.”