This fall, students from elementary schools across the district will put their spin on the well-known Walt Disney classic, “The Jungle Book,” during the district-wide performance of the musical.
The Jungle Book musical brings together 61 auditioned students from various Alvin ISD elementary campuses. The students were nominated by their music teacher in April, and auditions were held in May. Those selected, took home their material for the summer and studied in preparation to attend a musical camp in August.
In 2011, Passmore Elementary music teacher and current east side musical lead director, Lauren Summa, wrote a grant to start a district musical that would serve students who needed an additional creative outlet for their musical and theatrical talents. The Alvin ISD Education Foundation awarded a $1,000 grant to start a pilot district musical with three elementary schools. In 2012, the program was awarded a $1,000 continuation grant, and expanded to include all elementary schools in the Alvin High School feeder pattern. In 2013, the Alvin ISD Fine Arts Department took over funding and provided a budget of $3,000 per year for two musicals, one for each high school feeder pattern, which is the model that continues today. “The Jungle Book” will be the fifth Alvin ISD Elementary District Musical and it will continue cultivating creativity in elementary school students.
“Seeing the program grow and spread to other schools in Alvin ISD has been a phenomenal experience. Under the direction of elementary music teachers, these young actors bring musical theater performances to other students and families across the district that might not get the chance to see theatrical presentations otherwise,” said Summa.
This year music directors for the east side schools are Jane Rabalais from Longfellow, Brittani Nearing from Mark Twain Elementary, and Mary Foster from Alvin Elementary. For the west side, the music directors are Colleen Landgrebe, from Mary Marek Elementary, Cassie Castro from E.C. Mason Elementary, Consuelo Stokes from Don Jeter Elementary, Katie Haynes from Laura I. Wilder Elementary, Meredith Mooney from Red Duke Elementary, and Steven Carter from Glenn York Elementary.
“Being the lead director of the musical for the west side schools is definitely challenging and a lot of work. I could not do it without my team. This is one of the only times we are able to produce a show together. The team is like a quilt, different fabrics separately, but together we make something beautiful. The students get the opportunity to see their music teachers, although still professional, in a different setting. They also make friendships and memories with students from other campuses. As we know, personal experiences grow people educationally,” commented Savannah Lakes Elementary music teacher and current lead director for the west side musical, Heather Arboleda.
Performances are scheduled for the west side campuses on the following dates:
Friday, September 25: Red Duke Elementary – 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
Tuesday, September 29: Laura I. Wilder Elementary – 8:30 a.m., 9:15 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 1: Savannah Lakes Elementary – 6:30 p.m.
Friday, October 2: Savannah Lakes Elementary – 8:30 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.
Performance schedule for the east side will be as follows:
Thursday, September 24: Alvin Elementary – 8:15 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
Alvin Primary – 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.
Friday, September 25: Walt Disney Elementary – 9:00 a.m.
Stevenson Primary – 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.
Thursday, October 1: Mark Twain Elementary – 8:15 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
Longfellow Elementary – 1:00 p.m.
Friday, October 2: Hood-Case Elementary – 8:15 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
Passmore Elementary – 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.
Evening Performance: Passmore Elementary – 6:00 p.m.