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Archives - April 2012

Musical Magic . . . Behind the Scenes

April 25, 2012
By Barbara Wiers

“Think, boys, think.”

- Prof. Harold Hill from Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

It doesn’t seem all that long ago that we announced who was starring in this year’s production of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man.  Hard to believe how fast time flies, and now we have closed the books on it and are looking forward to next year’s show.

A school production like The Music Man takes so much work . . . we sometimes forget how much until we are smack dab in the middle of dress and technical rehearsals and spending late nights trying to get all the bits and pieces to fit into a perfect, lovely whole.  Everyone involved puts in long hours, hard work, and a lot of prayer.  And, the end results are so very worth it!

Our students on stage truly stepped up and out, doing their very best to represent our school, themselves, and the Lord.  The kids took their God-given talents and worked hard to use them to the best of their abilities for the good of the show.  We had students who had never considered doing a play or musical step into a role and excel.  Some students found giftings they didn’t know they had!  Some found a place in the dramatic arts that they didn’t have anywhere else.  Some were challenged outside of their comfort zones.  Some learned new skills.  Some just had fun.  All made memories and friends.

Those are the things that really matter. 

The Music Man was our biggest cast ever with 54 students as well as our best attended show ever with nearly 1,200 people coming to see our kids perform.  What a blessing!  But, the power of doing a drama is so much more than ticket sales.  It really is about the girl who never felt brave enough to try out for a show doing so.  It is about the boy who didn’t think he could sing getting a role where he sings in harmony.  It is about the kids pulling for each other and pulling together to get through the hard times and to celebrate the good times.

I had the privilege of being behind the scenes with the kids in the ‘Green Room’ where they wait to go on stage for their next scene.  Each night after warm ups, the kids were asked to pray – and hands shot up around the room!  Everyone wanted to pray and their prayers were sweet – for the performance, for each other, for the crew, for the audience, and –above all – that God be glorified in their efforts.  I witnessed the kids gathering around one of the boys who was really not feeling well – so much so we wondered if he could even finish the role that night – and they of their own accord decided to lay hands on him and pray . . . the entire cast who wasn’t on stage gathered to lift him up in prayer.  I can’t tell you how powerful it was to see elementary, middle, and high school students praying silently, out loud, and with expectation that God would move and heal.  And – this young man went on to do a great job throughout the night!

These are only two of the many examples of our kids sharing their hearts, hearts seeking to honor the Lord.

Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man is a beloved show, a story of the redemptive power of love with a real live (but awful) boys’ band.  For us, it is beloved because it offered our students so many opportunities to grow, learn, share, and shine.

It takes many to make those on stage look and sound good. 

Special thanks to all of those who shared their time, talents, and energy with us in the orchestra and on the tech crew!

Names with an * indicate an ALCS student

Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man Orchestra

Orchestra Conductor/Piano – Carmen Risi                Bass – Tom Chambers

Drums – Jacob Salsbury*                                               Violin – Josephine Benjamin


Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man Technical Crew

Producer/Director – Pastor Sarah Karlen                   

Set Designer – Katie Gruchow

Music Directors – Carmen Risi & Curtis White         

Costume Designer – Geraldine Karlen

Lighting Designer – Paul Schaefer                             

Sound Designer – Pastor Brian Montrey

Choreographer – Sarah Hewitt                                    

Assistant Director – Abigail Morrison

Stage Mangers – Christy Shane & Katie Ferge*       

Production Assistant – Christy Shane

Assistant Set Designer – Kristin Collier                     

Sound Assistant – Curtis White

Asst. Stage Managers – Kelsey Anderson* & Joseph Wetzel                   

Master Carpenter - Alan Kromanaker

Props Coordinator – Sarah Wright                                

Props Manager – McKayla Shane*

Sound Board Operator – Ben Ratkey*                          

Props Assistants – Katie Berggren* & Flynn Nauta*   

Light Board Operator – Brianna Borland*                     

Kid Wrangler – Emily Verbeten*

Spot Light Operators – Drew Agnew* & Aspen Hensler*                           

Costume Assistants – Marion Chapin & John Weeden

Carpenters – Daniel Floeter & Hans Kromanaker*                                    

Ticket Manager – Patty Ferge                                          

House Manager - Sarah Weeden

Ticket Assistant - Barb Gabrielse                                                       

Backstage Parent Helpers – Nicole Wetzel, Barb Ulma,

                                                     & Melissa Sedevie

House Assistants – Diane Feest, Chia Moeller, Tricia Pokrandt,

                                     Karen Schlief, & Paul Woodard

Seamstresses – Nancy Floeter, Amy Smith, Barb Gabrielse, Rhonda Hall,

                                Kiki Haumersen, & John Weeden

Dressers – Jody Delikat, Abby Ferge*, Nancy Floeter, Rhonda Hall,

                      Cristina Ingwell*, & Melissa Sedevie

Set work/painting – Jon Doty, Kate Doty*, Lauren Drapes*, Jordan Elenius*,

                                      Alexis Guest*, Jade Hein*, Maggie Johnson*,

                                      Megan Montrey*, Karen Mitten, Claire Sicard*,

                                      Michelle Wentz*, Mitch Westerhof*, Barbara Wiers,

                                      and members of the cast, crew, and production staff.

Congratulations to all who were involved with The Music Man! 

Finally, a special thank you to all our wonderful donors who help make our fine arts programs possible through their generous support of our Taste of the Arts fund-raiser!

We greatly appreciate those who sponsor the Taste of the Arts event to help ensure the success of our Fine Arts Department:

Robert & Carol Rau
(Dinner, Art, & Choir Sponsor)

Livable Communities by Don Tierney 
(Auction Sponsor)

Bill McGivern Family
(Band Sponsor)

Chris & Kim Rodel
(Drama Sponsor)

Alexander & Kyla Jenson
(Forensics Sponsor)

Bruce & Barb Gabrielse 
(Dessert Sponsor)


Thank you for your generous support of ALCS Fine Arts!

Bill Zehner's Serve-a-thon Challenge

April 11, 2012
By Barbara Wiers
Mr. Bill Zehner

The following post is from Mr. Bill Zehner, our ALCS Administrator/Principal.  I hope you’ll take the challenge!

Miss Barbie

ALCS Serve-a-thon Alumni (and friends) Challenge!

As this will be my last year at ALCS, it will also be my last year participating in our annual Serve-A-Thon as a staff member.  This is the 15th year that Mr. Butler and his team have led us in serving our community for the glory of God. 

We are celebrating this 15th anniversary in a number of ways.  This is Mr. Butler’s 15th year of service at ALCS and that is something to celebrate.  What a committed servant Mr. Butler is and has been for ALCS.  We are the great school we are, in large part, to the devotion of this man!  We have 15 staff who are already signed up to help out for this year’s Serve-A-Thon (what a blessing!).  We are also asking for a minimum of 15 ALCS parents and another 15 ALCS alumni to step up to the plate and help us in serving as team leaders for our MS and HS students. 

Each year, my role in Serve-A-Thon has been to work as a team leader, encourage students to participate in serving, and to send out a number of letters to ALCS alumni asking them to participate in sponsoring our Serve-A-Thon event.  While in the past I would send out 15 – 30 letters to ALCS alumni, this year I would like to use the power of social media to see if we can’t reach the great majority of ALCS alumni (and former students and current families and friends of ALCS) and ask them to support Serve-A-Thon 2012 in one of three ways:

  • Participate as a team leader – serving as a role model for our current students
  • Participate by making a donation – supporting our Serve-A-Thon Alumni Challenge
  • Help spread the word – pass this request to as many of your classmates/friends as you can

The 2012 ALCS Serve-A-Thon Alumni Challenge:  I would like to see our alumni join together and make a huge impact upon the ALCS experience of current and future students by raising a minimum of $15,000 in this year’s 15th annual Serve-A-Thon.  For the fall of 2012, we are planning on adding two new computer labs with the desire to become a leader in the area of MS/HS integrated technology education.  By reaching this goal of $15,000 we could equip one of the new computer labs with 20 brand new computers as well as adding one more SMART board system in one of our high school classrooms.  (We currently have 2 in the HS, 1 in the MS, and 1 in the Elementary).  With over 550 ALCS alumni and hundreds more that were students at ALCS, I think $15,000 is a very attainable goal.  I would like to challenge each of the 27 graduate classes of ALCS (from 1985 to last year’s class of 2011) to spur one another on to love and good deeds and see if we can have participation from each and every one of our graduate classes.  I will see to it personally that we display a plaque that lists each of the classes that participates in our ALCS Alumni Serve-A-Thon Challenge (by working or by giving).  It will be displayed in a prominent place (hopefully in one of our two new computer labs) so that each and every student that uses the computers in the years to come can know and appreciate those that made it possible – former ALCS students! 

I am excited to hear what you think about this idea and if you have interest in seeing this vision come to fruition.  Thank you for taking the time to read my post (I know it is very long) and for considering being a part of the 2012 Serve-A-Thon Alumni Challenge.  This year’s Serve-A-Thon is coming up on Saturday, April 14th. If you would like to serve as a team leader (whether a half day or a full day; 8a-12p or 8a-4p w/ a picnic dinner at the end of the day) we would need to hear back from you by April 12th.  Donations can be made toward our $15,000 Alumni Challenge over the next weeks to come (there is no immediate deadline). Donations can be made easily online through our website at www.alcs.us or by calling 608.221.1520 x 331.

I have been so very blessed in this amazing life God has graciously given me.  I hope that I have honored God by giving much as well.  Serve-A-Thon shows the heart of ALCS which is the heart of Jesus – service.  Through the work of our hands, we will share the love of Jesus with many in our community.  The donations raised will share the love of Christ with our students today and those to come in the future.  Please join me in supporting ALCS and Serve-A-Thon by taking the challenge, making a donation, and praying for God’s grace and provision for Abundant Life’s students, families, faculty, staff, and for our mission. 


Bill Zehner


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