Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Smith Center Presents Disney Musicals In Schools Celebration

On Monday, April 4, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts drew back the curtains to present the third annual Disney Musicals in Schools Student Share Celebration inside Reynolds Hall. Hosted by Las Vegas headliner and former Disney Broadway star Josh Strickland, the event featured performances inspired by four Disney classics—The Lion King, Aladdin, The Jungle Book and Winnie the Pooh—that were presented by six elementary schools from the Las Vegas Valley.

President and CEO of The Smith Center Myron Martin kicked off the event with a warm welcome as he thanked the Elaine P. Wynn and Family Foundation for their support, and the talented young students, their teachers, the extraordinary teaching artists and parents for working tirelessly to produce Disney musicals at their schools. This year’s participants included students from Mountain View, Pat A. Diskin, Doris Reed, Ruben P. Diaz, Hal Smith and E.W. Griffith elementary schools. Strickland joined Martin onstage to congratulate the selected schools, introducing each group as he revealed the beloved Disney stories being featured this year.

Following the opening remarks, the audience was captivated by the magic of Disney as each school performed one song from their KIDS musical, showcasing their impeccable talent and hard work. The dazzling display began with “Jungle Prologue” from The Jungle Book presented by Mountain View, followed by “One by One” from The Lion King by Pat A. Diskin, “Bare Necessities” from The Jungle Book by Doris Reed, “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” from The Lion King by Ruben P. Diaz, “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin by Hal Smith and “Winnie the Pooh” from Winnie the Pooh by E.W. Griffith Elementary. The schools were celebrated with a standing ovation as they proudly took their bows at the end of the evening.

Designed to build sustainable musical theatre programs in urban schools, Disney Musicals in Schools is an outreach initiative that pairs local professional teaching artists with educators for a semester to rehearse, design, build and mount each school’s first Disney musical. In the process, students build confidence and self-esteem, develop language skills and explore creativity through drama, music, dance, set design and costumes.

Participants for the 2017 Disney Musicals in Schools will be selected this May. For more information, please visit  

Photo Credit: Sam Morris                                                      

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