For most of the year the Holliston High School Auditorium is a fairly standard place. But for a few days this year the auditorium will be transformed into an African Grassland as the HHS Music Department prepares for a spring concert on May 9th that will transport the audience to Africa to experience the music from the beloved family classic The Lion King.
To be clear, the concert is not a carbon copy of the movie soundtrack, but instead follows the soundtrack of the Broadway musical based on the movie. But it still contains all of the classic songs from the movie, including “Can’t Wait to be King,” “ Hakuna Matata” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” In addition there are several lesser known songs from the musical such as “Shadowland” and “Endless Night.”
According to Holliston High School Choral director Mr. Stuart Britton, the idea of the performance has always been in the back of his mind since the performance of the Rock Medley four years ago. However the idea to do The Lion King came after he got the chance to see the show in New York over the summer.
He talked with band director Ms. Laura Bilodeau to make sure she was on board with the project when she was hired over the summer. Some might seem daunted by the feat of tackling such a big task with a new director, but Mr. Britton said that “I knew she was a strong enough musician that although she was just starting out teaching she would be able to handle it.”
The concert represents collaboration between the HHS’ Fine Arts Department and Music Department. The art teachers and their students have worked hard to design the artwork that will be used to transform the auditorium, including several masks that represent the changing solos throughout the concert.
The concert is “a great example of teamwork and a great example of what the Fine Arts Department can do,” according to Mr. Britton
In addition the event is a musical collaboration between the HHS’ band ensembles and choral ensembles which includes all of the ensembles at the school.
The concert will not be performed as a traditional musical would be, but rather will have different students cast for each solo in order to give the maximum number of students the chance to perform. In total there are 21 students performing 32 solos during the concert.
These soloists include Jess Polny, Sarah Yarashus and Patrick Murphy who have solos in “The Circle of Life;” Jake Barber, Nicole Wexler and Josh Yamakawa performing in “Can’t Wait to be King” and Corey Gernes, Matt Koshivas, Jake Barber and Meghan Holland performing in “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”.
In the end Mr. Britton said that people should come see the show because it is “instant and nice in that they know [the music], but what the students will do with it will blow them away.”
The concert will take place Thursday May 9th at 7:00 pm in the HHS Auditorium. Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and will be sold at the door.