Morgan performance keeps arts going in variety of ways
It's not only a chance for students to show off their musical skills and talents, but a chance for them to raise money for the school's arts and humanities program.
As is the case in many schools, the arts are often the first programs to get cut when budgets are tight.
"Tonight will raise about $1,000 for the arts and humanities program," Kim Davidson, music teacher at Morgan, said Thursday. "We sold out in just a few weeks, and I even had a waiting list."
This was Morgan's third year putting on the Dinner Theater show, a culmination of months of work in the third, fourth and fifth grade classes.
During the first course of the dinner - salad provided by Olive Garden - the Morgan Choir sang a few ditties and the newly formed fifth grade string quartet gave the audience a taste of what it has learned so far. The second course, a spaghetti dinner provided by Bellview Baptist Church and Fazoli's, was accompanied by the third grade classes' rendition of "Suessical," a musical. Dessert, cookies provided by Kirchhoff's Bakery, was served alongside dance routines from the fifth grade and a guest performance by Paducah Tilghman's a cappella group Concordia.
Throughout the night, fourth graders practiced their freshly acquired etiquette skills as they made sure food and drink made it to every Dinner Theater guest.
"We start all this the week they get back from Christmas," Davidson said. "We told them, we've got 12 weeks. They were like, 12 weeks?! But by about the third or fourth week things start to click for them, and when you see it click it's like..."
Davidson sighed and smiled: "It starts to come together. And when they go on stage and those curtains open, all this hard work is really worth it."
When the curtains slid open as the second course was served Thursday night, they revealed a fantastical, colorful set full of third-graders-turned-Dr. Seuss characters. For the third-graders, the opening curtains revealed table after table of siblings, parents and grandparents smiling back at them over plates of spaghetti. After months of preparation, Morgan Elementary's third, fourth and fifth-graders put on a sold-out show for a packed house Thursday night.
The students will give an encore performance on April 3 for the rest of the school and any parents interested in attending, Davidson said. This way, if parents missed out on a ticket for Thursday night's show, they still have a chance to see their children perform.
This year Davidson is especially excited about the funds the Dinner Theater performance raised. The plan is to use it to buy a kiln for the school's art room. It's been a dream of art teacher Carrie Thompson for quite some time, Davidson said.
"She is absolutely thrilled," Davidson said. "Next year in art the kids will all be able to learn how to make pottery. We'll use the money to purchase more plays and things, too. It's a great, fun way to help us sustain the arts."
Contact Genevieve Postlethwait, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651.