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Musical Inspires Students and Community

Musical Inspires Students and Community

Musical Inspires Students and Community 2000 1125 Ken Miller

On the weekends of February 18 and 25, Pine Hills Academy showcased its live presentation of Les Miserables, which became a community-relevant outreach.

The two-weekend theatrical production marked the tenth year of drama at Pine Hills. First-time Stage Director and Producer Lorelie Krussow stated, “Creating this production was an incredible experience that included community, parents, students, and school staff to pull off.”

The famous story of industrialist ex-convict Jean Valjean’s reformation in 19th century France featured spectacular costumes created by parents Heather Wells, Deborah Price, and a cast of volunteers. According to Krussow, the wardrobe team found or made each garment from curtains, sheets, and any source of fabric they could find.”

Parent Jenell Wareham reported that thirty-one of the school’s thirty-six students were involved in the production. Responsibilities included singing, acting, lighting, audio-visual, curtains, and every other job behind the scenes. Krussow, also the school’s English teacher, gushed, “The transformation we see in students year after year after going through the play is difficult even to articulate – but what we see clearly is authentic teamwork at its peak.”

Musical Director Terri Taaffe was responsible for turning high-school students into Broadway(esque) performers. According to several volunteers, “Terri was an inspiration that motivated and inspired the students to reach deep when performing this complex musical.” A song from the play was even sung live on Sacramento’s TV Fox40.

With the added notoriety, one community attendee, with no affiliation with Pine Hills, said, “I never knew this school was in my community! I couldn’t believe the quality of the production I saw tonight.” Reflecting on similar interactions, Krussow stated, “One lady from our community asked for a stack of flyers to distribute among her neighbors!”

Krussow concluded, “The overall production of a play builds student confidence. We see confidence transfers from drama to leadership roles they take on, their public speaking skills, and their willingness to participate upfront in their local churches.”

Principal David Carreon added, “This wasn’t just another theater production. It was a community builder that included musicians, volunteers, and even donors without school or church affiliation. This event truly connected Pine Hills to our community.”

Featured in Northern Lights, March 9, 2023