‘The Little Mermaid’ is a chorale spring splash

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By Sara Miller

For its final show of the 2013-14 season, the Evergreen Children’s Chorale is journeying “under the sea” with Ariel and all of her ocean friends in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” Based on the hit animated movie from 1989, this show is sure to reel in audiences of all ages hook, line and sinker. 

The 45-member cast, comprised of students in fifth- through eighth-grades, is immersed in a magical underwater kingdom. The beautiful young mermaid Ariel (played by Stella Martin) longs to leave her ocean home and her fins behind, and live in the world above. But first she'll have to defy her father King Triton (played by Ian Miller), make a deal with the evil sea witch Ursula (played by Caitlin Carlson), and convince the handsome Prince Eric (played by Brendan Jarrett) that she's the girl whose enchanting voice he's been seeking. 

In addition to the talented cast, "The Little Mermaid" features a visual feast of colors and costumes. “The audience will be astonished at Ursula. She has life-sized tentacles and eight performers control her tentacles, bringing her to life,” says director Elaine Sohrweid. Ursula’s tentacles are played by Katrina Ryan, Georgia Schmidt, Devyn Neiman, Becca Blum, Arianna Hubler, Sydney Mayer, Lauren Hurd, and Ashley Blondo. 

For many, “The Little Mermaid” conjures up familiar song and characters from childhood. For members of the Evergreen Children’s Chorale, this spring production is a celebration of several familiar characters who are part of the ECC world.

The Children’s Chorale will honor Elaine Sohrweid as she steps down from the directing podium after 19 years as artistic director. Sohrweid started her directing career in high school when she was the student conductor of the marching band and orchestra. She is retired from teaching music in Jeffco Schools and is very active in the Evergreen area artistic community. She has been named Who’s Who in America’s Colleges and Universities, one of Colorado’s Outstanding Women in 2002, one of Jefferson County’s Outstanding Teachers and has been the recipient of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Award for Excellence in Community Service.

Sohrweid has served with dedication, enthusiasm and pure love for the arts as well as having a strong conviction for nurturing the joy of music performance in children of all ages. The Evergreen Children’s Chorale remains a high-caliber performing arts treasure in Evergreen because of Elaine’s talent and leadership.

The ECC has renamed its annual student scholarship the “Elaine Sohrweid Alumni Scholarship.” The $1,000 scholarship is presented each year to an ECC or Prelude alumnus who is graduating from high school and has plans for full-time higher education the following fall semester.

The Children’s Chorale also celebrates the contributions of its principal accompanist, Jeanne Schubert. Schubert has given her time and talent at the keyboard to the Children’s Chorale for 20 years. The Children’s Chorale will honor both Sohrweid and Schubert at the May 10 performance of “The Little Mermaid.”

Following the final curtain of “The Little Mermaid,” Lindy Casados will take over as the artistic director of the Children’s Chorale. Casados has been teaching music in the public schools since 1993 and has been with the Chorale since 1997, most recently serving as its assistant director. 

Casados has been working hard to prepare 16 members of ECC for a trip to Washington D.C. to participate in a concert on June 14 hosted by The Kennedy Center’s Voices of our Nation: Start-Spangled Salute and The Smithsonian Museum of American History’s Raise it Up! Anthem of America combined event in celebration of the 200th anniversary of our national anthem. Guest conductors Eric Whitacre and Francisco Nunez will lead hundreds of children on the steps of our nation’s capital, as well as virtual children’s choirs from across the country, in an attempt to break the world’s record for the number of voices singing the “Star-Spangled Banner.” 

The ECC students participating are: Marlee Ambroisier, Maura Benedick, Ashley Blondo, McCartney Bogin, Adam Brass, Shannah Brass, Sara Colella, Seviah Egbert, Madeline Foster, Arianna Hubler, Sydney Mayer, Max McCord, Devyn Neiman, Anya Owens, Tea Saylor and Alex Weary

ECC will also hold auditions to continue to add to its growing family of participants. Auditions are open to children from all public, private and home-school environments. The Evergreen Children’s Chorale welcomes youth in fifth  through eighth grades, and ECC’s development group, Prelude, welcomes children in second through fourth grades. Auditions will be held on May 13 for ECC and Prelude, Aug. 21 for ECC and Aug. 25 for Prelude.  

For more information about “The Little Mermaid” or to schedule an audition time, call 303-674-9004 or visit www.EvergreenChildrensChorale.com.

‘The Little Mermaid’

Presented by Evergreen Children’s Chorale

May 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 at 7 p.m.

May 4 and 11 Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.

Center/Stage, Evergreen

Tickets: $12-$15

To order tickets, visit www.EvergreenChildrensChorale.com or call 303-674-900.