MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

October 10, 2012

Students rock the school house

People attending Sadler Arts Academy’s annual musical this weekend might learn a few things.

They’ll unpack their adjectives, visit “Conjunction Junction,” discover the Magic Number Three and meet the forlorn soul who is “Just a Bill.”

Sadler students will present the one-act pop/rock revue “Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.” today through Sunday at the school, 800 Altamont St.

This is the third year Sadler has presented a musical. Each year’s musical fits a theme the school is focusing on that year, said Sadler music teacher Pam Turnbull. For example, two years ago, the school presented “Fiddler on the Roof” during a yearlong study of Russia, she said.

“This year’s focus is STEM,” Turnbull said, referring to the district-wide focus on science, technology, engineering and math.

“We picked up a copy of ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ and found that it contained science and math,” she said, adding that the production also focuses on grammar and history.

The show is based on the Emmy Award-winning ABC animated TV series that featured songs based on school lessons. The series included “Multiplication Rock,” “America Rock,” “Grammar Rock” and “Science Rock.”

“These are just simple catchy songs,” Turnbull said. “Students are saying ‘oh, Mrs. Turnbull, the tune is stuck in my head.’”

Sadler eighth-grader Brenden Martin said he knew just what tune he wanted to sing. Decked in a white suit, Brenden plays the Bill, who sits on Capitol Hill, waiting to be turned into a law.

“It’s been fun,” Brenden said. “This song is a fan favorite ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ song. I wanted to do it because it is so much fun.”

Fifth-grader Kendric McFrazier plays a train engineer who helps show the diversity of nouns.

“I lead the train across the stage and then some bandits come up and rob it,” Kendric said.

“I’m a bandit,” fifth-grade classmates Chris Pineda and Dadrian Wilson said at the same time.

“Eventually they all get along and join in the dancing,” Kendric said. “I’m learning about nouns and adjectives.”

About 200 students in grades three through eight are singing, dancing and acting in the production, Turnbull said.

Parent volunteer Gayla Martin designed and worked on the colorful set.

Turnbull is directing the music for the production. Sadler teacher Melissa Curtis is directing dance and teacher Gayla Lindsay is directing the acting.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogee phoenix.com.

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