What better way to usher in the holidays than sharing the stage with a country music star? That's exactly how the West Deptford Middle School choir will mark the beginning of December.
Making the journey over to Glassboro, the choir will join a full bill of talented singers and musicians for Rowan University’s annual holiday concert.
Along with middle school choir, "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: A Holiday Concert," will feature the Rowan concert choir, Rowan wind ensemble, tenor Jon Garrison and country music star Louise Mandrell.
This unique opportunity happened mostly by chance, explained Marylin Rabbai—who was contacted by former conductor of the U.S. Navy band, John Pastin. Pastin, now the Rowan University director of bands, reached out to Rabbai after viewing her choir on the television. The choir’s winter concert was recorded by Ray Kirschner and students, and broadcasted on cable television.
“We are thrilled and I hope this will be an awesome and memorable experience for our singers,” said Rabbai.
Pastin even wrote special music for the choir to include them into the program.
District officials, teachers and parents—including Superintendent Kevin Kitchenmen, middle school principal Michael Fanelli, the West Deptford Board of Education and the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)—pulled togther to chip in for the costs of transportation to and from Rowan for rehearsals and the concert.
Located in the university’s Pfleeger Concert Hall, the concert will start at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8. Admission is $25, while admission with post-concert reception will be $50. All proceeds will go Rowan University’s College of Performing Arts. The university’s box office can be reached at 856-256-4545. Box office is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.