Smoot Spring Sing off to a harmonious start

PARKERSBURG Mixing a group of 35 children with theater experience with 60 children who have never before sung on stage could be a dangerous mix.

However, at the Smoot Spring Sing the two were able to mix well despite only having two hours of rehearsal.

Felice Jorgeson, director of the Smoot Theatre said Saturday’s Spring Sing was the first show put on by the Smoot Theatre Children’s Chorus and special guests from area elementary schools.

Jorgeson said the guests were quick studies. They only had two hours to rehearse.

“The children in the T-shirts are brand new to us,” she said. “We met them at 1 p.m. today. We have 60 children from area schools plus our 35 kids, but our kids were the nucleus.”

Deborah Hardbarker of Vienna, said the show was an experience.

“I was nervous at first,” she said. “I liked the costumes.”

Hardbarker said after the show she is interested in being part of the Smoot Theatre Children’s Chorus.

Justin Lough, member of the Smoot Theatre Children’s Chorus and a student at Warren Elementary School, said he has been interested in music through most of school and the theater group has been a good experience for him.

“I like how everyone here loves singing,” he said. “Everyone here sings really strong.”

James Reedy, student at Neale and a first year member of the theater group, said he has fun with the program.

“It’s fun,” he said. “I really want to stay here as long as I can.”

Jorgeson said they will try to do a similar show every year.

“It’s neat in that it gives from area schools some insight on what we do here,” she said. “Many of these kids do not know what we do and it gives them a chance to sing. Many of those kids that came in today have never held a piece of choral music. It was a new experience for these kids.”

Jorgeson said the songs performed by the combined groups were pieces new to all of them.

The Spring Sing coincided with the Second Saturday event at the theater when the 2013 version of “The Great Gatsby” was shown. The movie is a precursor to a show planned at the Smoot in 2015.

“Next year a traveling company is going to the stage play of the ‘The Great Gatsby’ and we are going to have a week of Roaring 20s,” she said.