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Former High School Choral Director Returns in Benefit Concert for Paul's Players, 2/9-10

Related: Jerry Smith

Jerry Smith was only 25 years old when he was hired in 1959 to develop a choral program at Livonia's Bentley High School. But over the course of his 25 years at the school, the Bentley Concert Choir (BCC) developed a widespread reputation for excellence, and its members traveled worldwide sharing their musical abilities. When Bentley closed in 1985, Smith went on to develop the CAPA (Creative and Performing Arts Program) at Churchill High School.

Smith, along with members of his musical family, will perform a concert to benefit Paul's Players, a local community theater group, on February 9, 2013 at 7:30 and February 10, 2013, at 2:00.

The concert will feature a variety of musical entertainment provided by Smith and his wife Sharon, who is an accomplished pianist. Also included are performances by Fifth Season, a women's vocal ensemble directed by Sharon Smith; and The Artist's Ensemble, a group Smith developed while teaching at Tyndale College. In addition, Kimberly (Smith) Swan, a lyric coloratura soprano, will perform light operatic vignettes with students from her vocal studio.

A dessert buffet and coffee bar follows each concert, along with an opportunity to greet the performers. Admission for each performance is $10, and includes the refreshments. The concert will be held at St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, 27475 Five Mile Road, Livonia.

In addition to teaching, Smith served as Music Director at Ward Presbyterian Church until 2004. He then taught at William Tyndale College. Smith, his wife Sharon and their three children are long-time Livonia residents, and have been active in the arts community of the city for over four decades. He is currently the Director of Music/Worship Ministries at First Presbyterian Church of Plymouth.

Paul's Players is a community theater group based in Livonia, Michigan, and housed in St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, 27475 Five Mile Road. The group was founded in 2011 by Patricia Hutchison, a retired Livonia Public School music and drama teacher. Its mission is to provide opportunities for people of all ages to participate in drama and musical theater. Now in its second full year, the group's most recent production was The Man Who Came to Dinner, in November, featuring Livonia native, Ethan Hedeen, as acerbic theater critic SheriDan Whiteside. Other productions during their 2011-2012 season included Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Remember When, a salute to veterans of World War II.

Also coming up for the 2012-2013 season are the musical Quilters, May 3-5, 2103, and a summer musical workshop. Each year in June, Paul's Players sponsors Broadway Bound, a musical theater camp for middle school students.

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