HIghland Students in Wichita Grand Operapublished February 6, 2012
Highland Students in Wichita Grand Opera
Highland Community College vocal music instructor Shayna Leahy came to College after working with the Wichita Grand Opera (WGO). As a result of her contacts with the WGO, Leahy has been able to provide excellent educational experiences for Highland music and dance students as they have been able to be part of professional performances. This year was no exception.
Working on this year’s production, Il Trovatore, Leahy reports that the students “had a great time working on sets, costumes, props, and ticket sales, in addition to our performance work.” Leahy’s experience and expertise is also recognized by the WGO as she was asked to be the stage director for this production. This is the eighth year that HCC has been collaborating with the Wichita Grand Opera, and it is the only program of this type in the nation. Leahy and her students have been recognized for their work by Opera America, and written about in their summer 2008 journal.
The Highland students who participated this year are Brittany Clary (Troy), Jessica Edmondson (Mound City), John Faris (Ozawkie), Matthew Henry (Highland), Landon Jackson (Mulvane), Joseph Jones (Gardner), Thad Kasper (Atchison), Kailey Kramer (Sabetha), Caleb Lackey (Highland), Daniel Larrison (Holton), St. John Lopez (Topeka), Joshua McPherson (Fairview), David Souter (Holton), and Chelsea Thompson (Hiawatha). The students traveled for rehearsals from January 13-16 and then were in residence with the professional company from January 27-February 5. There were 50 total chorus members for this performance, including the 14 Highland students.