Thursday, June 17, 2021

Christian High Musical presents Annie and The Sound of Music

WHAT began as an ambitious idea among the Davao Christian High School Parents-Teachers Fellowship officers to stage a musical featuring Broadway hits "Annie" and "The Sound of Music" became a spectacular reality recently.

A fundraising project of the DCHS PTF for the continuous development of the DCHS Senior High School Building, the musical held at the DCHS Auditorium was one of the exciting activities lined up during the school's 65th Year Founding Anniversary.

Like all good things, this worthwhile endeavor did not happen overnight. In fact, it was one year in-the-making, with grueling auditions, intensive summer workshops and, last-minute rehearsals.

But, witnessing how the passionate directors were able to bring out the very best from the cast and how the officers and production staff worked hard together as a united team, the whole nerve-wracking experience became well worth it.

One direction

Training the musical's cast whose ages range from 5 to 29 years old was no easy feat.

It was indeed an immense blessing to join forces with Nemuel Danuco, Zion's Praise Music Inc.'s national events director, who served as CHM's dynamic overall director; and Hyacinth Kayle Solon, a DCHS grade school teacher, thespian and Kundiman singer, who took on the role as acting director.

Meanwhile, DCHS senior high school teacher and musical theater actor Benjamin Bautista acted as the voice director. Incidentally, Sir Benj, as he is fondly called, was a silver medalist (Broadway Category) in the World Championships of Performing Arts 2017 in Los Angeles, USA.

Together with the PTF, these award-winning directors shared a common vision to come up with a world-class school production worthy of the audience's precious time and money.

It's a hard knock life

The Christian High Musical was equally divided into two parts with most of the delightful highlights from "Annie" and "The Sound of Music" included in each show. Daniel Carlos Tan, a DCHS alumnus and senior high school teacher, penned the engaging script adaptation.

"Annie" is a tale of a spunky orphan staying at a facility run by the tyrannical Miss Hannigan. She came to the life of billionaire industrialist Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks when he decides to welcome an orphan into his home temporarily to "enhance his image." Although Annie enjoyed being pampered at the Warbucks' mansion, she still longed for her biological parents. This prompted Mr. Warbucks to announce a search on radio offering a huge reward, which unfortunately lured unwanted impostors.

Superbly portraying the curly-haired orphan Annie was Florence "Orange" Asistido with Joshua Balaga (the only teacher at the CHM) as Mr. Oliver Warbucks, Yoshiko Hirakawa as Miss Hannigan, Lara Khalija Soriano as Grace Farrell, Gabriel Vince Zablan as Rooster Hannigan, and Khloe Orillan as Lily St. Regis.

Climb every mountain

On the other hand, "The Sound of Music" is a heartwarming true story of the von Trapp Family singers, one of the world-renowned concert groups before World War II. Maria, the main character, is the tomboyish postulant at an Austrian abbey who works as a loving governess in the home of Capt. Georg von Trapp, a widowed naval captain with seven children. Maria did not only bring back enchanting music into the home but new love and laughter as well.

Abigail Monteagudo brilliantly starred as the playful Maria with Chang SooYoo as the stern Capt. von Trapp. On the other hand, Cassandra Ang, Jeff Jao, Bea Arrosas, Migue Mendoza, Mikaela Lo, Sage Tinaco and Rain Gamboa excellently played the parts of the musically-gifted von Trapp children.

They were not the only wealth of talents that the directors and PTF discovered during the entire production process though. Eager grade school to senior high school students comprised the rest of the cast. These young artists willingly juggled their studies with the rigorous demands of late night rehearsals. However, at the end of the day, one would never see them complain or grumble. They just loved acting and singing as a group.

So, it was no surprise when the much-awaited day came, everybody gave their ultimate performance. After all, they were not only showcasing their artistic and musical gifts to the audience, but more importantly, giving glory to God.

Congratulations to the directors, cast and production team (a special shout-out to CHM's musical coordinator Marie Lo) for the topnotch staging of the Christian High Musical! You all deserve a standing ovation and resounding applause.

Special thanks to Fotofun Digital Express for the Christian High Musical photos.

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