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Blue Ridge Band Performs In Florida
Arbor Day Celebration At Choconut Valley
Elk Lake Junior High Students Of The Month
Mt. View H. S. 3rd Period Honor Roll
Blue Ridge Offers Summer Program
Mt. View Elem. 3rd Period Honor Roll
Elk Lake K-Kids Charter Night Held
F. C. High 3rd Period Honor Roll
Elk Head Start Completes 1st Year
Matthew Batzel In F & M Honor Society

Blue Ridge Elem. 3rd Period Honor Roll
Blue Ridge Elementary Citizens Of The Month
Kasey Robinson To Study Dance Art
“Aida” An Outstanding Success At Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge Band Performs In Florida

On March 21, two charter buses full of 100 Blue Ridge students and parents embarked for a week-long journey to sunny Florida. The Blue Ridge Raider Band has traditionally taken a performance type trip every other year for around the last 26 years. The trip was totally funded by the students and the Blue Ridge Band Booster Club. They started off the trip with a two-day outing at the beachfront Ivanhoe Resort near Daytona. Then it was across the state to an invited performance at the Florida Aquarium, located in Tampa Bay. The next day the band was also invited to be featured guests for a 30-minute concert in the staging area at Tampa’s Busch Gardens. The students’ performance for thousands of spectators was a memorable experience. After the concert they enjoyed the excitement of the park for the rest of the day.

The Blue Ridge Band performing at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida.

Filling up the spare time with lunch cruises and a thriller boat ride out into the Gulf, the band members and chaperones had a very educational and enjoyable excursion. Band director, Mr. Jeff Burkett states, “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many of these students. Teaching is not confined to a classroom setting. In the area of the Arts, students need to perform as much as possible to fulfill the needs of education. Ninety-five members of the high school band performed in the fall at the Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre for President Bush’s visit to the area. These opportunities that the students have had will stay with them their whole life.”

The band would like to thank all community members who have helped them by supporting their fundraisers and the spiedie/potato pancake booth at the Harford Fair. The band will be having its spring concert on May 24, starting at 7:30 p.m. They will also be performing at the Memorial Day parades/ceremonies in Hallstead, New Milford and Great Bend.

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Arbor Day Celebration At Choconut Valley

The annual Arbor Day celebration was held at the Choconut Valley Elementary School on Friday, April 29 on a cool spring day. Students, faculty, support staff and friends were assembled near the new Stephen Placko Memorial. Following the flag salute the High School Boys Quintet, directed by Scott Zimmerman, sang the National Anthem. The Quintet consists of: Brady Goldsmith, Ryan Machir, Joe Quanne, Robert Harris and Mike Whitney. Besides providing music as the students assembled they also sang, “America the Beautiful” and “Work for the Dawn of Peace.”

Pictured (l-r) are: Father Ghezzi, Jennifer O'Rourke, Delmar O'Rourke, Shirley O'Rourke, Kenneth O'Rourke, Jim Garner, Rita Eddy, Jim Kessler, Audrey Miner, Vonda Nash, Jodi Anderson, Charis Frisbee.

Guest speakers included: Jim Kessler, State Forester, Jodi Anderson, County Recycling Coordinator, and Jim Garner, County Soil Conservation. Memorial trees were planted in memory of Stephen Placko and Patrick O’Rourke. Father Ghezzi blessed the trees and spoke of the importance of respecting our forests and landscapes.

The Choconut Valley Garden Club oversees the beautification of the school grounds and will be doing the landscaping around the Placko Memorial this spring.

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Elk Lake Junior High Students Of The Month

Elk Lake Junior High Principal, Mr. Brain Mallery, is pleased to announce the following students who were selected as March, 2005 Students of the Month at Elk Lake.

Pictured (l-r) are: seated – Juan Lopez, Stephanie Darling, Stephanie O’Dell, Emily Madrak, Brianna Groover; standing – Ian Posey, Philip Trowbridge, Ben Copes, Mr. Mallery, Devon Emmerich, Matt Arnold, Dan Copes. Missing from photo: Jasmine Coleman-Hall, Traci Cook, Nathan White.

Students of the month are selected by nomination of any student in grades 7-9 by a teacher for outstanding achievement. The students must show individual effort, community and school wide effort, as well as effort in the classroom.

Other important criteria includes: a showing of personal growth, skill development, dedication, leadership, academic growth and improvement, school service and community service.

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Mt. View H. S. 3rd Period Honor Roll

The Mountain View High School Guidance Office has released the following third marking period Honor Roll for the 2004-05 school year.

GRADE 7: Alena Beeman, Ravi Figgles, Miranda Fisher, Sara Garavuso, Stephanie Grushinski, Luke Jenkins, Codie Jones, Jacqueline Kochmer, Haley Kwiatkowski, Cory Landes, Jonathan McBride, Kelly Morgan, Brandon Noldy, Robert Novak, Amanda Roberts, Leah Tantanella, Seth Tiffany, Katherine Webster, Sean Whitaker.

GRADE 8: Elaine Arsenault, Shawnna Benedict, Darlene Bloxham, Calla Bufford, Jamie Buzzerd, Justin Cerra, Eric Congdon, Michael Conklin, David Corbin, Carrie Gardoski, James Gething, Nicholas Hancock, Timothy Harmer, Jordan Harvey, Joseph Harvey, Misty Karhnak, David Krizauskas, Michelle Lahnemann, Alexandra Laske, Erika Lewis, Gerard Lockwood, Jr., Brandi Manzer, Scott Martens, Macy Matthews, Brittany McGraw, Chase McLaud, Brandon Miller, Michael Oakley, William Owens, Alexander Pashchuk, Bradley Powers, Kenneth Robbins, Brian Robinson, Amanda Schmidt, Jessica Short, Suzanne Skurnowicz, Zakkary Snedeker, Melissa Sohns, Donald Tantanella, Shelbey Twining, Ashly Vieira, Sarah Walker, Jacqueline Wayman, Colleen Whitaker, Mariah White.

GRADE 9: Alecia Beeman, Maura Bocan, Allison Bodt, Michael Brown, Alisha Burgess, Krystal Chubirka, Gina Cicco, Stephanie Diehl, Nicholas Durling, Kelly Griffin, Joshua Harris, John Heuskin II, Kyle Holgate, Joshua Jarnagin, Christina Kane, Amy Kern, Amanda Kissiah, Patrick Lambert, Amanda Leach, Brian Lockwood, Amanda Makosky, Zachary Matulevich, Matthew Morgan, Justin Moser, Andrew Nichols, Jujstine Pevec, Kelly Rafferty, Kendra Rafferty, Kristin Repchick, Nicole Rhodes, Erin Robinson, Casey Schweppenheiser, Megan Shipsky, Justina Wadge, Michelle Wedin, A'Leia Weida.

GRADE 10: Sarah Bishop, Melinda Chidester, Cody Chrzan, John Corbin, Adrienne Courtemanche, Malinda Daniels, William Davall, Leslie Estabrook, David Evans, Julio Faramelli, Diipali Figgles, Meghan Gardoski, Derek Gelormini, Melinda Gentelia, Sonya Greenberg, Joshua Hancock, Kenneth Jesse, Robert Johnson, Katie Kelley, Jessica Kimble, Adreanna Konsur, Chad Lasher, Josephine Littman, Lauren Lotterman, Jaclyn McCawley, Gregory Misiura, Julie Novak, Adam Oakley, Jeffrey Oakley, Matthew Potter, Joseph Scanlon, Brendan Smith, Melanie Smith, Lucas Tantanella, Whitney Twining, Victoria Webster.

GRADE 11: Tegan Aherne, Donald Belcher, Jonathan Bennett, Sierra Buck, Jacquelyn Buzzerd, Robin Cobb, Steven Decker, Ashley DelGuercio, Shanna Eshelman, Jenna Fancher, Leon Feduchak, Elizabeth Ficken, Kerri Green, Colleen Griffin, Joseph Johnson, Luke Kavka, April Kern, Margaret Klees, Ashley Krizauskas, Darek Ladden, Autumn Laske, Matthew Latwinski, Shaynna Mack, Amanda Marcy, Caitlyn McBride, Jody Molenko, Kenneth Morcom, Stacy Morrison, Alicia Oakley, Matthew Panasevich, Rebecca Phelps, Robert Powers, Jenna Regan, Jessica Rudock, Hayley Salansky, Stephanie Shiffner, Jessica Speth, Hollie Valashinas, Jessica Wedin, Christopher White, Whitney Williams, Kara Winder.

GRADE 12: Kara Ainey-Franklin, Daniel Arthur, Chad Batzel, Dawn Belcher, Jared Bradley, Amanda Breese, Crystal Butcher, Sarah Button, Erica Cannon, Catherine Christensen, Nicholas Cicco, Sarah Daniels, Amanda Drum, Amanda Estabrook, Christine Estabrook, Lee Faramelli, Marissa Franchak, Jennifer Garman, Matthew Georgetti, Ashley Gregory, Shawna Hill, Tiffany Holgate, Bruna Kalil, Stephen Kane, Melissa MacDonald, John Madas, Brenton McHugh, Katie Novak, Brandy Oakley, Kristin Olcese, Melinda Owens, Joann Parkinson, Kyle Parsons, Jennifer Payne, Beth Pelton, Aaron Peterka, Matthew Pfahl, Kelly Piasecki, Jason Robertson, Rebecca Rose, Katlyn Ryder, Holly Smith, Anne Stankevich, Katherine Szymanski, Ashley Thatcher, Emily Wise, Bethany Yohe.

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Elk Lake K-Kids Charter Night Held

On Wednesday, April 20, the Montrose Area Kiwanis hosted the Elk Lake “K-Kids” Charter Night. The “K-Kids” are a Kiwanis sponsored group of students from Elk Lake. The students are in sixth grade at the Elk Lake Elementary School. The “K-Kids” of Elk Lake were officially chartered on November 15, 2004.

The dream of a “K-Kids” Club at Elk Lake originated with Heather Shadduck, who is now a senior at Elk Lake and a Key Club member. She chose starting a “K-Kids” Club at Elk Lake as her senior project. Heather shared a power point presentation of activities in which the students had participated in their first year. The Montrose Kiwanis was very happy to sponsor this club and support Heather’s goal to organize a “K-Kids” at Elk Lake.

This evening honored the first year of service  by the “K-Kids.” Words of praise for these students were given by Dr. William Bush, Superintendent/ Mr. Chuck Pirone, Elementary Principal, and Mrs. Ann Copeland, Elk Lake Board Member. Dr. Bush proclaimed November 15 as “Elk Lake K-Kids Day” from this point on. Each year a special activity will mark this date. Faculty advisor for the “K-Kids,” Louise Hicks, spoke of how much she enjoyed being a part of this newly formed group.

The core values of “K-Kids” are: Character Building, Inclusiveness, Caring, and Leadership. The Motto of “K-Kids” is “We Build.” The Montrose Kiwanis would like to take this opportunity to thank all parents for encouraging their child to participate in the “K-Kids” and hope that this has been a rewarding experience for them.

If you are interested in knowing more about Kiwanis, feel free to contact any member or calling President Will Tripp at 663–9209.

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F. C. High 3rd Period Honor Roll

Anthony Rusnak, Forest City Regional High School Principal, announced the Honor Roll for the third marking period of the 2004-05 school year.

Grade 7 – High Honors: Lyle Foster, Rachel Gulbin, Bethany Hofer, Nicholas Lowry, Benjamin Paul, Andrew Salvi, Jordan Underwood.

Grade 7 – Honor Roll: Jessica Herbst, Thomas Kubus, Cassandra LaBar, Alexandra Powell, Donald J. Yestrepsky.

Grade 8 – High Honors: Jaclyn Arrigan, Marcella Baileys, Amanda Cino, Kelsey Logar, Chelsea Lucchesi, Kristen Majdic, Wade Malicky, Jacklyn Smith, Cassidy Strickland, Kelsey Trichilo.

Grade 8 – Honor Roll: Paige Baron, Ryan Baron, Jessica Butler, Brianna Demchak, Alison Dombroski, Lindsey Dragwa, Cheryl Hunsberger, Cheryl Pantzar, Michael Pasternak, Nicole Sherry, Joseph Terry, Walter Terry.

Grade 9 – High Honors: Heather Cook, Michael Forsette, Christine Guzzi, Ashley Hofer, Christopher Nebzydoski, Adam Salvi, Briana Salvi, Matthew Silfee.

Grade 9 – Honor Roll: Kent Corey, Ashley Dix, Kristy Kitchura, Lindsey Luchonok, Danielle Nebzydoski, Chelsea Soltus, Coty Soltus, Sarah Terry, Eric Torres, Brittany Yestrepsky.

Grade 10 – High Honors: Katelyn Brothwell, Georgia Galvin, Michael Gulbin, Danielle Long, Marlie Martines, Michael McGraw, Tara McGraw, Mickayla McHale, Justin Pisarcik, Tiffany Tyson, Sarah Zedar.

Grade 10 – Honor Roll: Matthew Bilko, Jonathan Chesnick, Laurel Evans, Kristal Griffiths, Nicole Karausky, Jenna Kilmer, Nicole Mead, John Miller, Jennifer Murnin, Jared Pisarcik, Bradley Sparks, Justin Thomas, Amanda White.

Grade 11 – High Honors: Tiffany Butler, David Costanzo, Michelle Giles, Joseph Grecco, Laura Heck, Tara Martines, Rita Munifo, Kathryn Nebzydoski, Suzann Paul, Robyn Powell, Daniel Rokavec, Stephanie Sterchak.

Grade 11 – Honor Roll: Joshua Balch, Kenneth Bennett, Jennifer Boyd, Laura Curtis, Christina Dolph, Michael Drop, Michael Dyno, Ashley Fitzsimmons, Sean Goldman, Heidi Lehmann, Bianca Marino, Brianna Ogozaly, Steven Scavone, Andrew Seaman, Rachel Witiak, Michael Zack.

Grade 12 – High Honors: Nicole Marsicano, Jeffrey Mead, Justin Murphy, William Orasin, Roseann Paul, Matthew Pisarcik, Scott Richards, Amanda Rizner, Rachel Terry, Jonathan Torch, Tammy Wojcik.

Grade 12 – Honors: Brittany Frederici, Michael Green, Heather Herbst, Ashley Hornbeck, Branden Kimmel, Ann Nebzydoski, Kasie O’Dell, Anthony Palermo, Ashley Quinnan, Nathan Richardson, Rachael Roeckel, Charles Saul, Jonathan Terpak, Kelsey Tyson.

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Elk Head Start Completes 1st Year

As summer approaches so does the end of the year for the Elk Lake Head Start. The program, which is located in the Elk Lake Elementary School, is in its first year. Head Start is a program that services income eligible families in the community. The Elk Lake Center covers the Susquehanna County area. The mission of Head Start is to include all aspects of a child’s life in the program. They accomplish this through Social Services, Education, Health Services, Parent Involvement, Special Needs Services, and Kindergarten Transition.

As the year has progressed, they have covered many different themes in the classroom. Some of these include birds, fire safety, pets, seasons, families, and colors and shapes. Along with themes in the classroom they work on academic skills such as alphabet recognition, counting, writing, reading colors and shapes. They also focus on self-help and social skills. They achieve these goals through developmentally appropriate activities.

The program also offers Social Services to all families. This includes developing family goals. The Family Service Worker in the center works alongside families to assist with gaining employment, housing, social services, etc. Along with formulating family goals they encourage all parents to become involved in the center through volunteering. One of the major goals of the program is to have 110% parent involvement.

A great thanks goes to the Elk Lake School District for welcoming the program into their school. They have included the Head Start in many ways. Some of these activities include the library reading program, school assemblies, and all presentations from community agencies. They also thank all the community that has supported them in their first year.

They are still taking applications for the 2005-06 school year. All age eligible children must be 3 by September 1, 2005. For information or to apply call Katie at 278–3953.

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Kristin Stanford To Attend N D Institute

Kristin Stanford of Susquehanna has been accepted to attend a two-week workshop at the National Dance Institute in New York City. Kristin, the new director for Susquehanna Community High School’s drama department, is one of 25 selected to attend this workshop. Candidates selected have a commitment to arts education with dedication and respect for children. They must also have leadership qualities in a teaching role.

The subjects covered by the workshop will include classroom management, teaching techniques, teaching children with special needs, intro to chorography and working with an accompanist. The teacher training at NDI is designed to train professional dancers and dance teachers. Artistic Director Ellen Weinstein will be leading the workshop classes with other choreographers, including the founder Jacques d’Amboise.

NDI affiliates are located in Los Angeles, CA; Aspen CO; Richmond, VA; Sante Fe, NM; Keene, NH and Trenton, NJ.

When Kristin returns from the NDI workshop she will be conducting one-week dance camps from June through August.

Dancing since 1982, Kristin attended dance schools in Florida and New York City and has been a guest teacher at several public schools in Florida. Her competition awards are numerous.

Residing on Grand Street in Susquehanna with her husband, Darrin and three children, Kristin owns and operates Kristin’s Salon.

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Elk Lake Speaker Places 4th In State

Elk Lake sophomore Molly Copeland did not have a lot of time to prepare for her Final round at the Pennsylvania High School Speech League State Championship Tournament on April 22-23 at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA.

However, in Copeland’s event, Impromptu Speaking, she only had five minutes of preparation time for each of her previous rounds, including the Semi-Final.

Copeland, who normally competes in Lincoln-Douglas Debate for EL, was entered in Impromptu, a Supplemental Event, at the State Tournament. Each team is allowed to enter, if they desire, one competitor in each of the three Supplemental Events at the State Championship.

Copeland advanced to Semi-Finals, the top 13 out of 65 competitors, after placing first or second in all three preliminary rounds. She won her Semi-Final Round and advanced to the Semi-Final Round of six competitors.

In that round of all upperclassmen competitors, she placed fourth.

The event is one of the most challenging speech events in the competition. Competitors draw a topic, a word or quotation. They then have five minutes to organize and prepare a five-minute presentation which is evaluated on organization, content, and delivery.

Copeland is EL’s highest placing competitor in any speech event in the 13-year history of the Forensics Team.

“This is an incredible performance for an underclassman at the State Championship Tournament,” commented EL Forensics Director Keith Brosious.

The team will wrap up its competitive season at the Spartan Invitational Tournament at Southern Lehigh HS in Center Valley on April 30.

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Matthew Batzel In F & M Honor Society

Lancaster, PA – Franklin & Marshall College has inducted twenty-two Pennsylvania students into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

For more than 200 years, election to Phi Beta Kappa has been a recognition of intellectual capacities well employed, especially through an education in the liberal arts and sciences. Members are recognized for having maintained high standards of excellence during their college years. The oldest collegial fraternal society in the United States, Phi Beta Kappa generally is regarded as the premier academic undergraduate honor society. The Phi Beta Kappa key has become a symbol of outstanding scholarly achievements.

Inducted for the honor locally was Matthew Robert Batzel, a senior government major and environmental studies minor, and a 2001 graduate of Susquehanna Community High School. Matt is the son of Carl and Carolyn Batzel, Susquehanna.

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Blue Ridge Elem. 3rd Period Honor Roll

Following is the Blue Ridge Elementary Honor Roll for the third marking period of the 2004-05 school year.


Mrs. Buffington: Sonja Campbell, Autumn Hadlick, Keith Paumgardhen, Faith Rychlewski, Kylee Sena.

Mrs. Chamberlain: Amanda Reese, Mitchell Wages, Wesley Ward, Ashley Warren.

Mr. Mazikewich: Margaret Darrow, Kevin McCarey.

Mrs. Wolfe: Rachel Casella, Kailey Ragard.


Mrs. Buffington: Shamika Dommes, Kyle Frailey, Megan Hoyt, Ethan Mansfield, Gage Piechocki, Megan VanGorden.

Mrs. Chamberlain: Shawn Darrow, Kellie Jesse, Kayla Muzzy, Kelsey Ralston, Michael Robbs, Jacob Roberts, Levi Schmidt, Sean Stanley.

Mr. Mazikewich: Annie Dunn, Jacqueline Furch, Rachel Marsh, David Miller, Caleb Watts, Nicole Whitney.

Mrs. Wolfe: Austin Barrett, Alex Cardoza, Mike Dorunda, Keely FitzGerald, Kayla Gentilquore, Emmalee Huston, Leah Kibler, Nicholas Schell, Stephen Starks, Brittany Tangora.

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Blue Ridge Elementary Citizens Of The Month

Following are the Blue Ridge Elementary Citizens of the Month for April, 2005.

KINDERGARTEN: Mrs. Johnson - Joseph Calla; Mrs. Farrell - Skylar Ross; Mrs. Rhone - Karolina Berg; Mrs. Small – Kayla Raub; Mrs. Whitehead - Morgan O’Hara.

GRADE 1: Miss Bowman - Tatum Bennett; Mrs. Button - Zachary Conrad; Mrs. Reese - Kaleb Ellis; Mrs. Scott - Kaitlyn Konsur; Mrs. Skal - Audrey Tyler.

GRADE 2: Mrs. Hepler- Nicholas Kogut; Ms. Levine - Katie Opet; Mrs. Theophila - Adam Starr; Mrs. Yurgosky - Chloe Randall.

GRADE 3: Mrs. Berger - Shania Yachymiak; Mrs. Harter - Jacklyn Wolfe; Mrs. Kelly - Taylor Chidester; Miss Pease - Rebekah Bayle.

GRADE 4: Mrs. Bartkus - Sara Schmidt; Mrs. Eidenier - Jacob Tyler; Mr. Goff - Eric Conroy; Mr. Jones - Joel Warner.

GRADE 5: Mrs. Buffington - Brittany Price; Mrs. Chamberlain - Amanda Reese; Mr. Mazikewich - Cassie Fassett; Mrs. Wolfe - Keely Fitzgerald.

Mrs. Bleck- Korey Travis.

Mrs. Heal - Eddie Gorick.

Mrs. Hitchcock - Kristen Kubasti.

Mrs. Suchy - Brett Phillips.

Mrs. Klenchik - Jessica Weber.

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Kasey Robinson To Study Dance Art

Kasey Robinson, a 17-year-old junior at Abington Heights High School in Clarks Summit, has been selected to participate in the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts at Mercyhurst College in Erie.

Kasey, who has family in Susquehanna County, is one of 10 ballet dancers selected. A total of 30 dancers and 200 students in the arts were selected from 1,573 applications from around the state. Students are selected for the five-week program on merit for their artistic and academic talent as demonstrated through the application process, which included an audition.

Kasey studies at the Degnan Ballet Center in Kingston and performs with Ballet Northeast. She spent two weeks in Carlisle in the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet's summer program for each of the previous two years.

Kasey is the granddaughter of Thomas E. and Alberta Robinson of Susquehanna. She is the daughter of Thomas J. and Daria Robinson of Clarks Summit.

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“Aida” An Outstanding Success At Blue Ridge

Do you believe in reincarnation? By the end of Blue Ridge Musical Theatre’s production of “Aida” on April 15,16,17 audiences were certainly entertaining the possibility as they were swept from present day to ancient Egypt to witness a timeless love set amidst war, deception, murder and friendship. Under the expert direction of Mr. Jeff Burkett, assisted by Mrs. Holly Snitzer students beautifully rose to the challenge of performing one of the first Off-Broadway productions of “Aida.”

Originally a Verdi opera, “Aida” became a Broadway sensation boasting music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice. The story begins in a modern day museum and then, as if a dream, dissolves back to ancient times and ancient lands for the telling of the story proper. Captain Radames (Joe Bednarchik) returning from more expeditions of conquest for his country prepares to marry Amneris (Maria Fancher), the Pharaoh’s daughter to whom he has been betrothed for nine years. A newly captured Nubian slave, Aida (Jessica Williams) quickly draws his attention when he witnesses her strength and beauty; he saves her from the copper mines and makes her Amneris’ palace slave. Aida quickly recognizes her childhood friend, Mereb (Tyler Calkins) a palace servant rescued by Radames years before, and it is revealed through their meeting that Aida’s father, Amonasro (Tim Stonier) is the Nubian king, making her their princess. As the plot unfolds the Pharaoh (Colin Dixon) is being poisoned by Zoser (Steve Delfino) Radames’ father and although plans for the wedding are underway Radames and Aida profess their love. The Nubian slaves meet Aida by the Nile’s waters and help her to see that she is their princess and must return as their leader to save her people. She is torn by her love for the Egyptian captain, and as the show comes to an end, the lovers are charged with crimes against Egypt, and Amneris, the daughter of Isis, decides their fate. Because she has come to love Aida as a friend, and because she has loved Radames all of her life, she decrees that they should die together, buried alive in a tomb. As they sing their sad song of hope for a love in another world, audiences are once again transported back to the modern museum where you see them awakened in the hard light of present day to meet each other once again.

The cast of Aida

The talented students who brought “Aida” to the stage proved themselves worthy of the ambitious music and the tragic story line. Maria Fancher became Princess Amneris in demeanor and song and along with the Palace Women rocked the house with her rendition of the song “My Strongest Suit”. In her first leading role she proved more than worthy of the task. Joe Bednarchik and Jessica Williams as the torn lovers once again astounded the audience with a stage chemistry rarely seen in high school productions. Few will forget their song for each other, “Enchantment Passing Through.” Steve Delfino, expertly played the villainous Zoser as he convinced the sinister ministers to build “Another Pyramid.” Tyler Calkins, as the sweet Mereb captured audience’s hearts in both song and skill when he died in Aida’s arms.

Lead characters, however, are only as good as their support. The Nubian slaves led by Nehebka (Sarah Barnard) moved believably to “Dance of the Robe”, and the soldiers flanked Radames with great energy as they supported their captain. The Pharaoh (Colin Dixon) played the stoic but dying leader expertly. The pit orchestra with pianist Colleen Devincentis at the core and community members and students tackled the difficult music with ease, creating a sound to fill the theatre. On lights and sound, Miss Lynette Daniels, Miss Amanda Delbow, and Ken Krug didn’t miss a cue. Sarah Barnard not only acted as Nehebka but also commanded the back stage as stage manager with gusto. Costuming by Mrs. Phyllis Caffrey, Mrs. Rebecca Williams, and the Tri-Cities Opera helped to transport the cast back to ancient times. The sets, painted and built by the cast and directors themselves under the tutelage of Mr. Mark Harvey were outstanding. Finally Mrs. Paulette Rafferty and Mrs. Betty Cook were there to lend a hand wherever needed.

It does take many hands to build a pyramid, but one must have master craftsmen like Mrs. Holly Snitzer and Mr. Jeff Burkett at the base. Mrs. Snitzer’s talents as a vocal instructor were evidenced in every well-sung solo, duet, and production number. An advocate of the arts and of his students, Mr. Burkett, time and again allows them to grow through challenging shows. Once again, they accepted the challenge and produced a high school show to be rivaled by few in “Aida.”

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