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California School Of The Arts – San Gabriel Valley to Present OF THEE I SING This Week

"Of Thee I Sing" runs Friday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 11 with a matinee showing at 2 p.m. and an evening showing at 7 p.m.

California School Of The Arts – San Gabriel Valley to Present OF THEE I SING This Week

California School of the Arts - San Gabriel Valley (CSArts-SGV) students share the love this February at the school's fifth-annual all-school musical, "Of Thee I Sing." The first musical to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, "Of Thee I Sing" follows politician John P. Wintergreen as he runs for President of the United States on a "platform of love". The score features a patriotic mix of music including marches, ballads and large ensemble with choral commentary. "Of Thee I Sing" runs Friday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 11 with a matinee showing at 2 p.m. and an evening showing at 7 p.m. at the Haugh Performing Arts Center at Citrus College, located at 1000 W Foothill Blvd, Glendora, Calif.

CSArts-SGV's annual all-school musical is celebrated as the largest cross-conservatory collaboration for both students and staff. For the first time since the school opened merely six years ago, the all-school musical "Of Thee I Sing" features a cast and crew of over 90 students from all 10 of the school's conservatories: acting, ballet & contemporary dance, commercial dance, creative writing, instrumental music, integrated arts, musical theatre, production & design, visual arts, and vocal arts. The school of dance staff is developing choreography and instrumental music students and staff are performing in the full 24-piece pit orchestra. Additionally, visual arts students are designing several props, while production & design students are handling staging and lighting.

The stage will be set at the Haugh Performing Arts Center - nearly four times larger than the one CSArts-SGV students are accustomed to - which allows students the chance to work with more scenery and technology than the average CSArts-SGV show. Professional labor has been brought in to guide these more expansive set builds, allowing students the opportunity to learn from more teachers, work on more items and utilize new techniques, promising CSArts-SGV's most elaborate performance thus far. The talented team leading the production also includes Director Jud Williford , Choreographer Bridget McNally and Music Director Graham Jackson. Tyler McGeogh, director of the Instrumental Music Conservatory will conduct the orchestra in George Gershwin's nationalistic score.

Williford, who is also the school's Chair of Theatre, emphasized how the cross-conservatory collaboration could not be more perfect for the themes and scale of this performance. The score does not feature traditional verse-and-chorus songs, yet multiple recitative and chorale commentaries performed by a large ensemble and company.

"This particular show provides opportunities for our student artists across multiple conservatories" said Williford. "But most of all, it teaches students what it takes to tell a story together as an ensemble, an ensemble that includes all parts of production."

He said "Of Thee I Sing" dives deep into motifs that CSArts-SGV students have yet to cover. While previous all-school musicals have followed a musical drama theme, "Of Thee I Sing" is a musical comedy that covers the ins-and-outs of politics on a national and international level. Because of this, there have been many conversations among the cast about the plays' relevance that other musical comedies don't usually bring up, Williford said.

Additionally, he said he hopes this show encourages the audience to see past the satirical humor of this reality TV-style presidential campaign of love, beauty pageants and corn muffins, and think about the real message.

"I think folks will find that not much has changed in 90 years of politics. In this production, based on our recent political past, some may find themselves laughing and thinking. Satire at its best is a mirror!" he said.

CSArts-SGV is grateful to Citrus College for hosting the performance at the Haugh Performing Arts Center. Tickets for "Of Thee I Sing" are $25 and available online at sgv.csarts.net/boxoffice.

About California School of the Arts - San Gabriel Valley

California School of the Arts - San Gabriel Valley (CSArts-SGV) provides an unparalleled arts and academic education in a creative, challenging and nurturing environment to a diverse student body with a passion for the arts. Serving more than 1,200 students in grades seven through 12, the public charter school draws students from more than 80 cities within and outside the San Gabriel Valley. CSArts-SGV is a place for aspiring young artists to refine their skills and flourish in one of the four schools of study offered, including: dance, fine & media arts, music and theatre. CSArts-SGV provides a rigorous college-preparatory academic program that includes a dual-enrollment program with Citrus College and a wide variety of Advanced Placement courses. CSArts-SGV received the national Arts Schools Network New and Emerging School Award and has been voted Best Charter School in the San Gabriel Valley.



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