This is the last year that Grade 6 will be at the Birdwood Campus, and the last year the sixth-graders will put on a large-scale musical. Teachers Julie Nemeyer and Judy Kent, directors of the spring musical, chose a show that would be meaningful and exciting as the sixth-graders exit Birdwood.
“What we really felt made Beauty and the Beast, Jr. so successful last year was that there were so many big numbers for all members of the cast to have fun with,” says Nemeyer. This year’s show, Aladdin Jr., offers nothing less. “The music in Aladdin, Jr. is fun, upbeat, and gives a lot of opportunities for many students to shine,” Nemeyer said. Both directors are looking forward to the songs, “Prince Ali” and Genie’s song, “A Friend in Me,” which include some “showstopper” moments.
Aladdin stood out in the list of musicals because of its “diamond in the rough” theme. “With the rise of social media and smart phones, our students are more connected to the world than ever before. They are often faced not only with the pressures of their peers but also with the expectations of the world. They see images online and through media sources that expose them to role models who may not always be a positive influence on our student’s lives,” says Nemeyer. In the story, Aladdin tries to change himself and become a prince, worthy of Princess Jasmine, but by the end of the show, he realizes it’s who you are on the inside that matters. “Our prayer is that this story will inspire our fifth and sixth-grade students to look inward for what makes them unique and that will, in turn, help them strengthen their sense of self,” says Nemeyer.
Both Ms. Nemeyer and Mrs. Kent are hoping the students grow to work as a team and that they learn how important every part is in the show. “We want our students to leave this experience knowing that they have been a part of something bigger than themselves and with the satisfaction of a job well done,” says Nemeyer.
Located in Charlottesville, VA, The Covenant School is a non-denominational, private, Christian day school for Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, visual and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.