The first of many magic mo­ments in the new rD arts cen­ter

You gave us roots, you gave us wings, I hear the silent voice it sings. You’re wel­come home, no mat­ter where you roam. And so this life and all it brings, Won’t find us wDn­tLng IoU a thing. You gave us roots, you gave us wings. -Dan May

North Penn Life - - Accent - Mike Morsch is ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor of Mont­gomery Me­dia and au­thor of the book, “Danc­ing in My Un­der­wear: The Sound­track of My Life.” He can be reached by call­ing 215-542-0200, ext. 415, or by email at msquared35@ ya­hoo.com.

There was a spe­cial mo­ment last Thurs­day evening in the new per­form­ing arts cen­ter at rp­per Dublin High School.

Students from Jar­ret­town El­e­men­tary School and Sandy Run Mid­dle School — un­der the guid­ance of choral di­rec­tors Brian Stoudt and Randi Mount, re­spec­tively — com­bined to ac­com­pany Philadel­phia singer-song­writer Dan May on his song, “The Gift.”

The song is about par­ents and what they give to their chil­dren. It’s a beau­ti­ful song. And when the kids — many, if not all, of whom had their par­ents in the au­di­ence — sang the bridge of the song back­ing Dan’s vo­cals, well . . . it was magic.

And I had a unique seat for it all be­cause I was part of the show as well. The event, the fiUsW Ln WKH 8Sper Dublin Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion’s Arts and Lec­tures Se­ries, was about my book, “Danc­ing in My rn­der­wear: The Sound­track of My Life,” and I was right up there on stage telling sto­ries from the book and yukking it up as much as I could. My tal­ented friend Dan May, who has a chap­ter de­voted to him in the book, and the Dan May Band — Tom Hamp­ton, Rob Sch­nell and Mike Kur­man — pro­vided the fab­u­lous mu­sic for the evening.

But that wasn’t the only spe­cial mo­ment of the show. Once the el­e­men­tary and mid­dle school students ex­ited the stage, the rp­per Dublin High School mu­sic students, un­der the di­rec­tion of Nathaniel Arnold, stepped up and ab­so­lutely stuck the land­ings on two Beach Boys songs — “In My Room” and “God Only Knows.”

I will ad­mit to some bias here. I’m a big Beach Boys fan and songs writ­ten by the band’s co­founder, Brian Wil­son, have been ex­tremely im­por­tant to me in my life. To hear the students do two of my fa­vorite Beach Boys songs, ac­com­pa­nied by Mr. Arnold on the pi­ano for “God Only Knows,” was a spe­cial mo­ment for me as well.

And the event it­self was so well-planned and co­or­di­nated. Su­san Lo­hoe­fer, fa­cil­ity and community af­fairs man­ager for rp­per Dublin School Dis­trict, es- sen­tially served as ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer for the show. And she didn’t miss a de­tail. Her con­tri­bu­tion went largely un­rec­og­nized be­cause it was be­hind-the-scenes and inside base­ball, but be­lieve me when I say with­out Sue, the show wouldn’t have hap­pened.

Ditto for David Toll and Rob Ed­mond­son, the tech­ni­cal brains of the op­er­a­tion, who han­dled sound, lighting and video for the event. Those guys are real pros and I didn’t see a glitch all evening on the tech­ni­cal side.

The whole thing was the vi­sion of rp­per Dublin Su­per­in­ten­dent Michael Pladus. He had seen the show at my book launch in June at the Ambler Theater and wanted to know if it could be re-cre­ated as a fundraiser for the dis­trict’s Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion. Foun­da­tion Pres­i­dent Art Levi­nowitz and event co­or­di­na­tors Pam Ryan and Katie Braun pro­vided in­valu­able sup­port for the show.

,W’s GLI­fiFuOW IRU WKRsH RI us who have spent our ca­reers re­port­ing the news to ac­tu­ally be part of the news it­self. But that’s what hap­pened to me this time around and I was hum­bled WR EH SDUW RI RnH RI WKH fiUsW big events in that beau­ti­ful and state-of-the-art au­di­to­rium.

The bot­tom line, though, is that it was a honor to share the stage with tal­ented mu­si­cians like Dan May; choral di­rec­tors Nathaniel Arnold, Randi Mount and Brian Stoudt; and the kids them­selves, who looked like they had a good time; to work with tech­ni­cal wizards like David Toll and Rob Ed­mond­son; and to get the sup­port from ded­i­cated folks like Dr. Pladus, Dr. Levi­nowitz, Sue Lo­hoe­fer, Pam Ryan and Katie Braun.

And let’s not for­get the res­i­dents of rp­per Dublin, who stepped up and voted for a tax in­crease some years ago that al­lowed such a won­der­ful high school and all its fa­cil­i­ties to be built right there in their community. From where I stand folks, you got your money’s worth and then some. The per­form­ing arts cen­ter alone is worth the price of ad­mis­sion. The next time there’s an event at the cen­ter, take some time and go en­joy the fa­cil­ity and the per­for­mance.

Be­fore the show even started, dur­ing the sound check and re­hearsals for the students, I was chat­ting with Dan on what was un­fold­ing be­fore my eyes.

“I’m still shak­ing my head that I’m part of this,” I said.

“Yes, you are a lucky man” he coun­tered. In­deed. Well done, rp­per Dublin. Well done.

Outta Left­field Mike Morsch

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