CCA Performs 'Getting to Know the Sound of Music'

When Cascade Christian Academy (CCA) English teacher Vicki Downer and music teacher Cheryl Gabel collaborate there is no telling what they will put together, and this spring’s performance was no exception. Who would have dreamed that CCA in Wenatchee, Wash., with a kindergarten through 12th-grade student body of only 137 could take on such a grand piece of work as the small-school adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music?

Auditions began last October and rehearsals in November for this monumental 12-scene musical. Two performances were held on March 11 and 12, 2017, in the school gymnasium. Students from grades one through 12 performed. It was a real team effort, with more than 80 individuals taking part in the production.

Costuming was quite a mammoth job, but fortunately third- and fourth-grade teacher Marita McLin, with the help of church members Cirri Quick and Edye Coughlin, among others, stepped in to sew, clean and mend the more than 70 costumes necessary for the performance.

Downer and Gabel brought in Leslie McEwen and April Castle from the community for specialized help in voice coaching and choreography. CCA’s own history teacher, Gene Roemer, assisted in the choreography as well.

Three CCA seniors were featured in leading roles in the production. Hannah Stonas played Maria Ranier, Rhett Hill played Captain Georg von Trapp, and Zachary Molander played Max Detweiler. CCA junior Anna McLin sang a beautiful rendition of “Climb Every Mountain” as she played Mother Abbess.

The play offered great opportunity for the students to stretch their leadership, acting, singing and technology skills. Also impressive was how the older cast members took on the responsibility to see to it the younger “von Trapp” children were changed and ready for each scene.

Even in the technical aspects of the production, students took lead roles. Sophomore Devyn Hill, freshman Caleb Harden and fourth-grader Peter Kyle were largely responsible for running the sound, technical support and lighting after being instructed and nurtured by the director’s husband, Roger Downer. 

More than 400 guests came to enjoy the event, and they left smiling. This production will be something the Wenatchee community and school family will remember for a very long time. 

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