On 05.24.12 | by The STARS Foundation
Event showcases students’ talents and benefits American Cancer Society
by John Gauthier
Once again, the southern Texas County community of Cabool shared the dual benefits of enjoying the music of a citizen orchestra and contributing to a national cause, this time for the American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life.” On Friday evening, May 18, under the direction of Rebecca Peterson, the STARS Foundation choir and orchestra performed its “Concert for a Cure” for the joys of music and the urgency to find a cure for cancer.
The orchestra composed of members of all ages, who participate in the studying, teaching and return service mission of the STARS Foundation that provides instruction in music and art, played before a full house at the Cabool Christian Church. Admission to the concert was free but the audience contributed $1,157.18 that will be given to the American Cancer Society.
The concert-goers listened to classical instrumental and the traditional choir music, punctuated with solo performances by familiar community singers Elizabeth Stuart, Charles Tantone, Annie Laurie Mower, Brian and Rebekah Richardson and Ben Smith.
The audience was thrilled by the superb soprano vocals of Elizabeth Stuart, who returned to Cabool from her studies at College of the Ozarks. Elizabeth played Bell in the area production of “Beauty and the Beast” in 2010. Her musical growth was quite evident in her stage presence, confidence and the clarity of her vocal range as she sang “Ave Maria” and a duet with Charles Tantone of “Time to Say Goodbye,” popularized by Andrea Bocelli, the Italian tenor.
Charles Tantone, who played opposite Ms. Stuart in “Beauty and the Beast,” continued to validate the reasons for his success in regional vocal competitions. While those competitions underscored Charles’ capability to sing western and popular musical selections, the concert revealed his vocal versatility with his rendition of “Waiting in the Water” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
The audience received a special treat with the accompaniment of the alto voice of Annie Laurie Mower with both Elizabeth and Charles and the surprise vocals by Ben Smith and Brian and Rebekah Richardson, who show promise for the STARS Foundation’s future theatre and concert performances.
The STARS program is open to all area students and citizens. Currently, 158 students participate. The STARS Foundation is supported by donations from the Cabool Development Foundation, community businesses and individual citizens. “Concert for a Cure” was also funded by a grant from Missouri Arts Council.
Following the concert, STARS received a donation of 32 chairs and four tables from LIFETIME from the vice president, David Mower. STARS also received a gift from Springfield Music, a set of their own timpani, from owner Donavon Bankhead, who also attended the concert with his family. The STARS Foundation would like to thank all who participate and support this program.
The next STARS project is a foundation fundraiser of a production of “Disney’s Jungle Book Kids,” scheduled for June 28, 29 and 30 and July 5, 6 and n7 at Star Theatre in Willow Springs. The public is invited.
On 05.17.12 | by The STARS Foundation
Former Cabool High School students from near and far are invited to the all-school reunion planned for Memorial Day weekend.
The event-coordinated by Cabool Alumni Association, will start with a gathering downtown Friday, May 25, at 5:30 p.m. in Gateway Park, corner of Main and Cedar. A choir of CHS alumni will perform the national anthem, the school song and the school fight song under the direction of Vicki Woods. Special music will follow with Wendy Inman at 5:30 p.m., Hilltop Cities at 6:00, Collide Worship Band at 6:45, and STARS Foundation at 7:30.
On 05.17.12 | by The STARS Foundation
Cabool’s STARS Foundation’s choir and orchestra have scheduled a free public concert on Friday, May 18, at 7:00 p.m. to promote the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
The “Concert for a Cure” will be held at Cabool Christian Church. The Relay for Life concert is supported by Missouri Arts Council.
The performers and choir will be accompanied by 90 instrumentalists. The musical program will feature classical and popular selections such as “You Raise Me Up,” “Phantom of the Opera” and many more. Guest soloists will be Charles Tantone from Ozark and Elizabeth Stuart of Cabool; both had leads in the production of “Beauty & the Beast.”
Also, during the performance there will be a special slide presentation honoring those who have been affected by cancer in some day.
While the concert is free, any donations received at the performance will be given to the American Cancer Society.
On 07.26.12 | by The STARS Foundation
On behalf of the STARS Foundation, we have been blessed and want to give thanks to a generous anonymous donor who brought 64 brand-new Lifetime chairs to the school. We had 36 that were recently donated by Lifetime themselves. We currently have over 100 students. This will be a wonderful help to them and our teaching. So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
We would also like to thank the Willow Springs Community Foundation that allowed us to use the facility of the Star Theatre to perform our recent play, “Disney’s Jungle Book Kids.” We were able to raise the money we needed to pay the annual insurance for the Foundation. We would also like to give another thanks to all the businesses and private donors who were kind enough to donate the money needed to put on the production. Without everyone working together this would not have been possible. The students and faculty are aware of the support made by each of you for this to come together so well.
The STARS Foundation will have open registration on August 6 and 7 from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. at our building, The Cranberry Merchant. We will have schedules and information for the upcoming year. We look forward to seeing you.
Tiffany Taylor for the STARS Foundation board of directors
On 08.31.12 | by The STARS Foundation
The directors of Kid Fest: Coming Together In Love will be processing what happened on Saturday the 18th for a very long time.
Area families with kids just kept coming through the gates at the Tri-County Fairgrounds in Mountain Grove for the total purpose of having fun. It has been estimated that there could have been upwards to a thousand in attendance. Everything was free – the popular cookies from Sunday and Casey’s and the decadent caramel and chocolate bars from the kitchen at Shetler’s. Little ones stood on tiptoe at the ordering window in the dining room of the cook shack, as it is called, and peeked over the edge to ask for their favorite cookie or piece of cold watermelon from Country Mart, most always with a “please” and “thank you.” Ice-cold bottled water provided by Mercy Clinic and Country Mart and frozen popsicles were available in ice chests in the dining room with fresh popcorn prepared and served by Mercy Clinic and cake served by Christos House for their 30th anniversary.
The festival area was filled with colorful canopies creating a village of caring people providing activities for kids, from bean toss games, face painting, miniature golf, archery, matchstick bowling, crafts, balloon animals, sparkle tattoos, hair spray with fun colors, shaving cream fun, ring toss, Plinko, the Vandergraph experience, puppets to bounce houses and much more. Kids were the center of the afternoon.
Folk ballads, pop, mountain, classical and gospel tunes by cello, violin, ukulele and keyboard filled the festival area and was provided by the students and directors of STARS Foundation. “One,” the contemporary Christian rock band from Plato, provided a place in the show arena to come for rejuvenation and entertainment by skilled artists who brought a special message to elevate the human spirit and richly contribute to the quality of the event. We hope they will return next year as we contemplate on how to utilize their contribution in a broader way.
Wright County Sheriff Adler reports a great deal of interest in fingerprinting children for identification purposes. Ninety-three children were processed.
At 3:00 p.m. the parachutes were brought out for children to experience the community coming together in games with balls and water balloons flying high in the air as the parachute launched them and then plummeting back to splash on the “lucky” ones.
At 3:30 the crowd abruptly came to attention as all eyes and ears tracked the direction of sirens coming on Business 60 in our direction. Anticipation heightened as bright and shining Mountain Grove fire trucks pulled in the festival area and began raising the boom on the aerial truck right into the center of all the activity. It was like the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” as everyone stood mesmerized with the wonder of it all. The pandemonium broke loose as water began spraying onto the festival goers. As children and adults came running to join the fun, the climax of Kid Fest happened – children laughing and running as one large family fully enjoying themselves, each other and the moment as only children can. That was the best “thanks” we could ever receive.
Two bikes were given away by Christos House at the close of the festivities to a very happy boy and girls whose names were drawn.
As we are on a learning curve in this event, there is much to be learned in the way of parking management, too-low water pressure to get the water out a little farther and wind-blown water to go places we didn’t want it to go. Our thanks for the patient understanding of the booth providers who experienced some water damage due to this happening. It certainly wasn’t planned that way, and precautions will be taken to avoid it happening again. The spacious fairgrounds provide many options which would allow us to remove this part of Kid Fest from the festival booth area.
Just prior to the opening at 1:00 p.m. the Mountain Grove High School JROTC brought the event together with a solemn moment when their uniformed cadets provided a color guard for the raising of the American flag, a symbol with personal meaning for us all. In opening remarks, I shared with the gathering that the event reminded me of the Feast of the Tabernacles where God called Israel to gather in booths or tents every year so they would remember how far they had come from slavery in Egypt. They gathered annually to celebrate God’s blessings to them over the year and consequently the bountiful harvest they were enjoying. As we came together in love, we brought our time, talent and treasure to share with area families out of the harvest of blessings we have received. It was in large part because of the quality of all the providers of this event that we had such a success with few mishaps and very little cleanup afterwards. Everyone who attended knew that they were cared for and respected and returned the same to each of us.
At present we are taking donations for Kid Fest 2013. A date in August has not been determined at this time. For more information, call Rita Foster at 417-252-0829.
Following is a list of donors and booth providers who made this event possible. A very sincere thank you from the director of Kid Fest: Coming Together In Love.
Rita L. Foster organizer/director
Donors: Christos House; Dana’s Cutters, Cabool; Gracestone, Community of Christ; Hillbilly Holler of Macomb; Images by Kid Photography, Kim Barnovsky, Cabool; Libbie Bowie, MSE Counseling Services; Living Waters Family Center; ProGraphics, Cabool; South Street Church of God; Wright County Fair Board; many generous, caring individuals; donation given in memory of Teresa Top of Genesis, an advocate for area families
Music by STARS Foundation and “One,” contemporary Christian rock band, Plato
Food donations: Casey’s, South 95, Mtn. Grove; Country Mart, Mtn. Grove; Mercy Clinic, Mtn. Grove; Shetler’s Café, Cabool; Subway of Cabool and Mtn. Grove
Booth providers: Archery, Duane Gabriel, Success; Arc of the Ozarks; Cabool Assembly of God; Christos House; Cope of Lebanon; Cub Scout Pack 50, Mtn. Grove; Del and Carol Mumby, Mtn. Grove; Eunice Whittaker Circle, Cabool First United Methodist Church; First Baptist Youth, Mtn. Grove; First Freewill Baptist Youth, Mtn. Grove; Hospice Compassus; Intercounty Electric Cooperative; JROTC, Mtn. Grove High School; Lisa Jump House Fun; Living Waters Family Center; Mercy Clinic, Mtn. Grove; Missouri State University Fruit Experiment Station; Ozarks Family YMCA; Ozarks Medical Center; One Accord Ministries; Richards Brothers, Mtn. Grove; South Street Church of God; Texas County Extenstion, 4-H, University of Missouri; Three Rivers Hospice; Trinity United Methodist Church, Mtn. Grove; Whetstone Baptist Church; Wright County Children’s Home; Wright County Children’s Division; Wright County Extension Family Nutrition Program, 4-H, University of Missouri; Wright County Sheriff’s Department
Special thanks to: Kid Fest volunteers; Mtn. Grove city and parks department; Mtn. Grove fire and police departments; Texas and Wright county families who supported this event.
On 09.07.12 | by The STARS Foundation
by Tiffany Taylor
The organization focusing on providing community citizens experiences in the fine arts, the STARS Foundation will celebrate its first anniversary on September 15 with games, music and refreshments at its facilities at 510 Main Street, Cabool. The celebration coincides with the community’s Old Tymes Day.
Organizers of the STARS program call the birthday celebration an opportunity to give back to the community that has made the event possible. The STARS Foundation – STARS stands for “Studying, teaching and returning service” – focuses on providing members of the area with the experience in fine arts of music, language, theatre and art at minimal or no cost to the student. In return for attending classes in any of the fine arts, students of all ages, from 4 to senior citizen, can pay in cash or in community service. There are currently 200 persons enrolled in STARS programs from six area counties.
The STARS program of instruction includes music technique instructions; lessons for brass, wood and string instruments; participation in theatrical productions, including acting, singing and stage crew tasks; sign language training; and acrylic art classes. The instruction is reinforced by the opportunity for students to actively participate in musical and theatrical productions opened to the public at least twice yearly. More recently, STARS students conducted an orchestral concert to benefit the American Cancer Society.
STARS is supported not only from payment for student lessons but in larger part from donations and contributions from community businesses and individuals and grants from national foundations. STARS is a non-profit organization that is a project of Cabool Development Foundation.
Our 2012/2013 calendar is filling up with some exciting events. New classes that will be opening up in addition to the current programs will be pencil portraits, line dancing, swing dancing, ukulele, and story time for younger children. Our traditional Christmas and spring concerts will still be performed with some additional features: a special guest in concert with us in January, Dearbhail Finnegan, a harpist from Ireland; production of “Disney’s Aladdin” and “Phantom of the Opera.”
Visitors to the STARS facilities on Main Street, Cabool, will have an opportunity to learn more about the fine art programs and the details for enrollment and participation. At the same time, student ensembles, in groups from beginners to advanced players, will present period music selections for visitor enjoyment and entertainment. For the younger, more energetic visitor, games will be available. Snacks and refreshments will also be available. A “Happy Birthday” will be presented at 12:00. This is your invitation to join in the celebration from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 510 Main Street.
On 01.12.12 | by The STARS Foundation
Sunday evening, January 15, students from STARS Foundation will perform a 40-minute presentation that includes great hymns of faith at Maness Memorial Baptist Church. Pastor Terry Brown will open the service with prayer at 6:30 p.m.
“You are cordially invited to attend the evening with us,” a church spokesperson said. The church is located at the corner of Blair and Davis streets.
The STARS musicians have a wide range in age and are directed by Rebecca Peterson of Cabool. There will be 35 musicians sharing their talents.
After the presentation, Pastor Brown will share the address for STARS for those who may wish to send contributions to the foundation.
On 03.22.12 | by The STARS Foundation
by Carol Pettijohn
The March 20 meeting of Cabool Art Club was a musical event at the home of Vanetta Sponsler with Janet Maggard being co-hostess. Students from the STARS Foundation treated the appreciative members to soaring instrumental renditions of a range of classical, religious, and traditional favorites. The musicians participating in the program were Sarah Galbraith, Laney Allen, Katurah Richardson, Rebekah Richardson, Hannah Peterson, Laura Richardson and Madison Peterson.
Roll call was each member sharing their favorite music, which included classical, country, gospel, and a “little bit of everything.” …
On 03.15.12 | by The STARS Foundation
by Carol Clary-Pippen
… A select group from the STARS Foundation will perform, and Brian Lanihon will be singing several Irish songs. …
On 03.01.12 | by The STARS Foundation
Rebecca Peterson, founder and director of STARS Foundation, met with Cabool Development Foundation lats Friday to give an update on the fine arts academy and upcoming events.
Peterson was nominated by CDF member Bob Nichols for the American Red Cross’ Everyday Heroes award. She is to be honored as a nominee at a March 28 banquet in Springfield. As a part of that event, a group of orchestra students from STARS will perform.
STARS stands for Studying, Teaching And Returning Service. It offers training in instrumental music, art and painting, theater and more. Students of all ages are welcome. Persons may pay for their lessons or do work in the community in exchange for the lessons.
Peterson said there are currently 87 students in the orchestra, with some coming from as far away as Carthage and Hartville.
STARS is planning a summer production of “Jungle Book,” which will be a fundraiser for the fine arts school. There will be roles for ages 19 and under.
A concert to benefit Relay For Life will be held in May, she said, with the date and location to be announced later.
Also, the school will be relocating this spring from its Main Street site to another building in Cabool that has yet to be finalized.
STARS Foundation is a not-for-profit group with a local board of directors. Donations to the foundation enable STARS to rent musical instruments for students. “We are doing well,” Peterson said, “But it’s a constant to keep up with it.”
Donations can be made to STARS through the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.
On 04.12.12 | by The STARS Foundation
by Louise Crosbie, secretary
Texas County Retired Teachers met April 9 in Houston First Baptist Church. The meeting was opened with the pledge of Allegiance led by Janet Maggard, president.
Those not attending missed an opportunity to experience STARS. Joyce Jones introduced Rebecca Peterson, executive director and founder of STARS, who introduced the members of the group playing that day. Rebecca explained her teaching method, pointing out the foundation of theory, dynamics, timing and level of difficulties. Rebecca and the students treated us to five classical and religious instrumental pieces.
STARS will be performing a fundraising concert for Relay For Life May 18 at 7:00 p.m. in the Cabool school gymnasium.
On 04.05.12 | by The STARS Foundation
by John Gauthier
Each year, KY3 and The American Red Cross come together to honor heroes who have changed the lives of those around them.
Cabool area resident Rebecca Peterson, who has been active in Cabool’s community fine arts activities for several years, was among southern Missourians nominated as an Everyday Hero sponsored and promoted by the American Red Cross and Springfield television station KY3. Her nomination was sent in by Bob and Bonnie Nichols of Willow Springs.
Peterson was among the 200-plus persons nominated for recognition. The nine individuals received the accolade of “Everyday Hero” at the annual luncheon on March 28 in Springfield. A number of this year’s finalists were recognized for heroic exploits that saved lives.
Peterson is the executive director and founder of the Cabool-focused STARS Foundation that seeks to promote community interest in the fine arts which include music, languages, and artistic activity. The Foundation provides lessons at minimal or no cost to Cabool-area students interested in playing a musical instrument or taking other lessons offered. Currently over 100 students participate in classes being held at the former Cranberry Merchant building on Main Street, Cabool.
To date, the STARS Foundation has presented the musical play “Wizard of Oz” and student orchestra concerts. Smaller orchestra ensembles provided musical entertainment at a number of local events.
The Foundation is currently preparing for its presentation of “Disney’s Jungle Book,” a musical, in June. They will also be performing during the Relay for Life Annual Concert that will be held at the Cabool High School gymnasium Friday, May 18, at 7:00 p.m. All donations will be given to Relay For Life.
The STARS Foundation, which is associated with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) is supported by contributions from Cabool area residents, businesses, and the Cabool Development Foundation.
On 05.24.12 | by The STARS Foundation
STARS Foundation is staying put, but the city’s agreement to assist with its utilities is changing following action taken by Cabool City Council Monday evening.
Last month Cabool City Council unanimously approved a credit of up to $150 a month for two years on the electric bill of STARS as the fine arts school was going to move from the former Cranberry Merchant building across the street to 519 Main. With the move, STARS was going to have rent, insurance and utility expenses it has not had when at the Cranberry Merchant building, and STARS founder Rebecca Peterson had asked for and received council approval for assistance with utility costs.
Things have changed. STARS will now be staying in the Cranberry Merchant building, but will be responsible for the utilities, phone and insurance, Peterson told Cabool City Council May 21. She asked if the utility credit approved by the council in April could still be used to help the foundation as it works toward becoming financially independent.
Alderman Jim Sigman said of the electricity assistance, “I think we’re opening up for discrimination when we give you a flat fee and for others do it at cost.” He said his reservations had nothing to do with STARS Foundation itself. “I’m still for helping you,” he told Peterson.
Alderman Sam Mudd asked about the city’s agreement with the Cabool branch of Ozarks Family YMCA. The YMCA was granted two years of free utilities.
A motion was made by Mudd, seconded by John Mark Hale, to allow a credit of up to $150 a month for one year on STARS’ electric bill. Mudd and Hale voted for the motion; Sigman and Jerry Driskell were opposed. Mayor Danny Cannon broke the tie, voting in favor of the motion.
On 10.04.12 | by The STARS Foundation
by John Gauthier
Despite the unexpected rainy day that hampered public participation in Cabool’s Old Tymes Day September 15, the students and friends of the STARS Foundation found time to make the day sunny with their talent. Though the number of visitors failed to meet expectations, those who visited the Foundation at the former home of the Cranberry Merchant encountered a group of students enthusiastic to demonstrate their musical accomplishments as part of musical ensembles, mini-orchestras and as soloists. Games and refreshments were also available.
Students performed four hours of music without repeating, celebrating all the music that has been learned and performed for the past year. It consisted of beginning with the classical era, into the 50’s, and brought everyone through time with guitarist and vocalist Andrew Stockard, movie soundtracks, fiddling, pop favorites, and even string Dub step.
STARS (Studying, Teaching and Returning Service) seeks to promote community interest in the fine arts which include music and artistic activity. The foundation provides lessons at minimal or no cost to Cabool area youth interested in playing a musical instrument or taking art lessons. Currently over 190 students participate in classes being held at the Cranberry Merchant building on Main Street, Cabool.
The STARS Foundation, which is associated with Cabool Development Foundation, is supported by contributions from Cabool area residents, businesses and now also supported by six counties in the surrounding area. We would like to thank everyone for a wonderful year and the success it has brought to the students that participate. Founder/director Rebecca Peterson would also like to thank all of the wonderful help and support of the STARS board of directors who manage and make this program run smoothly.
On 11.29.12 | by The STARS Foundation
STARS Foundation will be presenting the annual Christmas concert, which includes selections from Handel’s “The Messiah,” on Saturday, December 1, at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 2, at 4:00 p.m. at Cabool Christian Church. Both performances are free and open to the public.
Over 100 performers will be singing and playing in the orchestra for the 80-minute concert.
“You will enjoy traditional Christmas carols and ancient hymns during the narration of the birth of the Savior directly from the King James Bible. If you can think of a Christmas song, I believe you will hear it. There will also be some excerpts from the Nutcracker Suite, Handel’s Messiah, and the famous Carol of the Bells in full orchestra. We look forward to being with you at this joyous time of year. Merry Christmas and enjoy the refreshments following the concert,” a spokesperson said.
On 11.01.12 | by The STARS Foundation
by John Gauthier
The drummers are drumming. The flutists are chirping and trumpets are blasting. The violins and violas are whining. There is a clatter at the old Cranberry Merchant store. The students and teachers are preparing for their participation in the area’s Christmas celebrations.
While the STARS Foundation’s schedule is not yet full, the student musicians are practicing the music they will play at such area activities as the Cabool annual holiday parade and holiday musicals around the area.
Always an inspirational experience for its audiences, the student musicians will be appearing in various community events in December beginning with a concert at Cabool Christian Church on December 1 and 2. On December 8 they will appear in the Cabool Christmas parade; later at Vanetta Sponsler’s home on the Christmas Home Tour; and in Houston at the tree lighting ceremony and parade. The Miss Merry Christmas Show in Houston is December 15. Other scheduled appearances include Mount Pisgah December 11. The musical selections will be the familiar and the ageless. Admission is free, and the experience unforgettable.
Rebecca Peterson, executive director of STARS Foundation, reported that there are some openings in the December calendar for the STARS musicians to participate in other community events. Organizations seeking to include STARS players in their activities should contact Rebecca at the Cranberry facility on Main Street, Cabool, or at 417-254-3168. To view the most up to date information about STARS performances on the web, go to thestarsfoundations.blogspot.com.
STARS Foundation is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote community interest in the fine arts – music and art – and provides lessons on various musical instruments and art to all community residents at low cost or in return for community service. STARS (which is short for Studying, Teaching And Returning Service) is supported by local private and business donations.
On 12.20.12 | by The STARS Foundation
In the season of giving, I would like to thank all those who have contributed in some way to the STARS Foundation. We have had a blessed year. Thank you to the board of directors, who have served so faithfully with services to the program, as well as to the students and to the community. You are all very special to me.
Thank you to the members of the communities who attend and support our concerts and plays. You bring meaning and encouragement to our hard work and efforts.
Thank you to those who have donated items of need and financial and support to the students who attend and believe in the program and its success.
Most importantly, I want to thank my loving husband and children, who sacrifice their time in helping me teach and share this with everyone.
I love you all, and wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!
With love and sincerity,
On 12.20.12 | by The STARS Foundation
Members of the STARS Foundation in Cabool joined in the festivities of the Texas County Memorial Hospital Nurse Manager Tea on Thursday. They provided Christmas music for everyone at the hospital to enjoy.
On 12.06.12 | by The STARS Foundation
By John Gauthier
How does one determine a “tradition”? Is it by the frequency of occurrence or by the repetition of an emotional experience or both? However one measures it, the Cabool area has been experiencing a tradition, an annual occurrence in the performance of “Handel’s Messiah” as the opening for the Christmas holiday season.
For the past several years, residents of the Cabool area have welcomed the Christmas season celebrations musically with performances of “Handel’s Messiah” by local musicians. The performances of the STARS Foundation orchestra and the community choir, hosted by Cabool Christian Church, on December 1 and 2 proved once again equal to the task of providing a memorable experience. Is this not tradition?
From the first note from the “Nutcracker Suite” to the last note of “Hallelujah,” the audience at Cabool Christian Church shared the sounds and feelings of the Christmas season. It happened in both performances – children and adults alike left energized with the spirit of Christmas.
Once again, the talents of the STARS Foundation orchestra and the community chorus captured the intensity and vibrancy of such seasonal choral favorites as “Shepherd’s Joy,” “Away in the Manager,” and “Joy to the World,” accentuated by instrumental and vocal solos. It was an experience of memories of Christmases past, revisited and new memories made.
Under the direction of Mrs. Jo Burton and the piano accompaniment of Rebecca Peterson, executive director of the STARS Foundation, the orchestra and choir took the audience on a Christmas musical odyssey that was highlighted by familiar and classic instrumental and vocal selections. All enjoyed the vocal talent of soprano Elizabeth Stuart, whose vocal range continues to mature and expand and was both inspiring and thrilling, as well as the instrumental solos of piano, handbells, brass and strings that revealed both the magic and the depth of community talent.
The orchestra is composed of members of all ages who participate in the studying, teaching and returning service mission of the STARS Foundation that provides instruction in music and art.
The STARS program is open to all area students and citizens. Currently, 200 students participate in the STARS program. The STARS Foundation is supported by donations from community businesses and individual citizens. For more information www.thestarsfoundation.blogspot.com.