Friday, September 07, 2007


CONTACT: Lisa L. Rollins, 615-898-2919, or Tim Musselman, 615-898-2493

Popular Classic Will Feature Combined Talents of University, Local Arts Community

(MURFREESBORO)—The MTSU Opera players will perform The Sound of Music at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14, and Saturday, Sept. 15, and again at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, in the T. Earl Hinton Music Hall of the Wright Music Building on the MTSU campus.
"We're very pleased and excited to share this classical music production with the Murfreesboro and middle Tennessee community,” said Raphael Bundage, producer of the show and director of opera and choral activities.
“There will be combined talents from the MTSU School of Music’s opera department, the MTSU theater department, costumes from Tennessee Repertory Theater, and most importantly, gifted young children from the Homer Pittard Campus School,” he added.
Karen Blooding, choir director for the Campus School, has prepared the children musically for their roles, Bundage said. Additionally, Jimmie Lou Tate will choreograph the musical performances for the MTSU performance and Dale McGilliard will serve as the stage director for the show.
"(The Sound of Music) is one of American theater's greatest classics,” said McGilliard, professor of speech and theatre. “It is full of family values and great entertainment for the whole family, with the great music we all grew up with."
Based on the book titled The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria von Trapp, the musical’s lyrics are by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers penned its music.
Marking its original Broadway production in November 1959, Bundage said the work was the final musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein; the latter of whom died of cancer nine months after its premiere.
Throughout the years, the show has enjoyed numerous productions and revivals, including a popular 1965 movie musical, observed McGilliard, who added that songs from the stage production—such as The Sound of Music, Edelweiss, My Favorite Things, Climb Every Mountain, and Do-Re-Mi— have become popular standards.
"I could sing along with every one of the songs," McGilliard said, smiling, "but I won't during the performances."
Ironically, however, the work was originally envisioned as a nonmusical play that would feature songs from the repertoire of the Trapp Family Singers. It was later decided to add an original song or two, and perhaps by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Soon thereafter, it was agreed that the project should feature all new songs and be a musical rather than a play.
The local production’s leading roles will feature MTSU students Megan Tozer as Maria Rainer, Grant Farmer as Capt. Georg von Trapp, Rebecca King as Mother Superior/Abbess, Rachel Craig as Max Detweiler, Welsey Suitt as Rolf Gruber, and Fain Watson as Liesl von Trapp.
•ADMISSION: Admission for the MTSU production of The Sound of Music is $10 for the general public and $8 for seniors and students. MTSU with a valid university ID may attend for free with an advance ticket. For tickets, please call 615-898-2849.
For additional information on this and other events in the McLean School of Music, please visit or call 615-898-2493.


ATTENTION, MEDIA: To interview members of the MTSU production’s cast or request review tickets, please contact Lisa L. Rollins in the Office of News and Public Affairs at or 615-898-2919. To request jpegs of the production’s dress rehearsals, please e-mail your request to

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