St. Croix Central has had an incredible fall to get our 2017-2018 school year started. Our varsity athletics performed at phenomenal levels with much success, and we witnessed extremely positive performances and outcomes athletically at the middle school as well. With all of these fantastic performances to think about, I would characterize the performances that took place at the Community Auditorium this past weekend as simply amazing and one of the best performances of the fall. Although there are many other adjectives that could be used to sum up this year's middle school performance of "ELF Jr.: The Musical," amazing says it best. Every year it seems that the bar is raised in the middle school drama department as I was fairly certain that the Legally Blonde production from last year was unbeatable.
I have only watched school productions as a member of the audience in the past. This year I was able to assist with all three productions hiding backstage. As amazing as the performances were, I found myself equally impressed and amazed with the efforts of the students behind the scenes. At most times there were more than 100 students involved either running around helping with the set or running around to get to the other side of the stage.
When I first went to work Friday night and observed the madness of 40 elves and students running around everywhere, there was no way I thought they would be ready, but once MS vocal music teacher Mrs. Schmitt got things rolling I realized there was a method to all of this madness. To observe the actors sing and dance like pros and to watch 10- and 11-year-old students rush props, couches, Christmas trees, etc. out on cue was simply amazing to watch. I truly don't know how Buddy, Anna Van Rossum, was able to keep up. I got tired watching her.
Highlights of the performance were definitely Anna's character of Buddy the Elf, the singing duet performances of Owen Rozeboom and Morgan Schmidt, and the singing and acting of Anna Sauer playing Jovee. All the actors did amazing jobs, but I walked away amazed with these four above all. Other highlights include the work of MS art teacher Mrs. Dumond's set crew. The props were awesome, and those kids were like busy ants when it was time to change sets. MS play director Mrs. Moe did a great job as she sewed and put together many, many stunning elf costumes.
To all the set crew, cast members and characters, I say thank you. Thank you for the huge time commitment as the students started practicing and building sets in early September. To Mrs. Schmitt, Mrs. Dumond, and Mrs. Moe, I say thank you for your commitment to excellence and the time you took away from your families for our kids! I would like to extend a huge thank you to the best auditorium director and sound manager in the country, Randy Pfeifer. Randy is an incredible resource and he was there many of the nights and days with the middle school performers. Randy's apprentice, Colby Hodnefield also did a great job!
The ELF performance was truly a community effort with well over 20 parent volunteers, support from the high school, as well as school district staff. The auditorium venue that was made possible by the generosity of the community made the performance that much better! We could not have pulled this performance off without the support of all the parents and parent volunteers that stepped up to drive students back and forth from practice, and to assist with tickets and management in the back. We are truly blessed at SCC to have such a supportive community and parent population!
As I continue to reflect on the great production from this past weekend, I look forward to the Christmas and holiday concerts coming up as I am positive they will be just as entertaining. Thank you all for your continued support of the many extra-curricular programs we have at SCC. We truly have a lot to be proud of here in our SCC schools!
I wish you all an amazing Christmas Season and a great start to the 2018 New Year!