The spring musical at Tyler Junior College is a long, respected tradition that has lasted 42 years. This years’ production is “Singing in The Rain.””Our spring musical is always a well-known event in the community,” said vocal professor and co-director Andrea Trent. “They are always something familiar and fun, and they receive a lot of attention because they are full collaborations.”This full collaboration between multiple departments is always a challenge. Co-directors Denise Green, Andrea Trent and Rebecca Faulds held auditions looking for not only pure acting ability but also dancers and singers. “The hardest part of casting it was trying to find people who are that kind of triple threat,” said Trent.The result is a combination of vocal, dance, and acting majors who must train very hard to be the full package. Actors took summer classes on tap dancing, demonstrating their commitment to perfecting their technique for the upcoming musical.”In the end, the dancing and singing requirements are pretty easy for actors,” said Micheal Roberts, who plays a chorus member, “because most of them are serious enough about acting to round themselves out with both voice and dance classes.”Along with the challenges of finding 33 singing, dancing and acting students, there is also the challenge of integrating the music and choreography. A live 15-piece orchestra along with Trent on piano will play the music.”We haven’t started the collaboration between orchestra and choreography yet because it should only take the orchestra, who are professionals, a few weeks,” said Trent. “The hard part of it will be me condensing the orchestral work onto a piano.”All of this is evidence of the laborious quality inherent in any major production. Trent said this musical specifically is “big and elaborate, in response to the last two years which were two of our smaller spring musicals.” This musical includes tap-dancing routines, which are “very difficult, as it has gone out of fashion.” It requires the students to rehearse every night for five or six weeks.One of these singing, dancing, acting “triple threats” is dual-credit student Sylvia Duramos. A 17-year-old dance major, Duramos is showing that she is a unique talent by being the youngest member of the cast as well as being the female lead.”Sylvia has been great, especially as a dancer and singer,” said Corey Finzell, who plays lovable sidekick Don Lockwood.
Other highlights of the show, include “the tap dancing and pantomiming on musical instruments,” said Trent, “are very fun, and best of all it will actually rain on stage!”Through all the hard work, Trent said it is worth it because of the expectation put on the play due to tradition. “This is the only thing the music and theatre department ever collaborate on, and I think that along with its 42-year tradition make it something very important to the community,” Trent said.