One Morgan: THIS IS ONE MORGAN: THE ANNUAL CONCERT
The lighting engineer is a high school senior. The Superintendent is part of the pit band.There’s hip hop, classical instrumentation; there are dancing teachers. This is One Morgan: The Annual Concert.
Morgan County High School student body co-presidents Dylan Davis and Gareth Newton are working ‘round the clock to bring the cold season’s hottest ticket to life on Jan. 23. Trust us when we say—you don’t want to miss this.
“It’s a benefit concert for Darius Weems,” said Newton during a post-rehearsal interview last Thursday. Weems, for those Morgan Countians who have been living under the proverbial rock for the last couple of months, is an Athens teenager who suffers from a terminal disease known as Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. Weems and a group of friends road-tripped to California last year in order to attract the attention of producers of MTV’s popular show, “Pimp My Ride;” Weems wanted the show to trick out his motorized wheelchair. A documentary made of the journey, which highlighted Weem’s first visit to a motel and first trip to the beach, among other firsts, has been viewed by every middle-and-high school student in Morgan County in recent weeks.
Weems visited the high school for a rally in December, and was hoping to make it to the One Morgan concert next week.
“He was actually going to come, but he’s leaving for California again in a week or so,” said Davis. “We wanted this concert to benefit muscular dystrophy, because we’ve all been inspired by Darius, and we want to help him.”
This is the second annual “One Morgan” concert, and Davis and Newton—as well as advisor and high school musical arts teacher Steve DeLaigle—are expecting great things. Last year, with little or no publicity, the concert sold out the 505-seat high school auditorium, and this year is likely to be no different.
Morgan County High School Principal Mark Wilson—known simply as “Doc” to the student body—helped get the One Morgan concept off the ground last year.
“A lot of times we’ve had events, and they were hosted by someone outside the school,” said Wilson in an interview last Friday. “Then last year the senior class officers picked up on the idea that we had a lot of talent right here…we realized that we had the talent for performance, and the talent for production, and those two sides came together to be ‘One Morgan,’” said Wilson.
In fact, the show is performed, produced, and organized by students for their fellow students and the community.
“It is a truly amazing show,” said Wilson. “It’s a real platform for our kids…it’s a chance for them to perform what they want to perform.”
This year, students will sing, dance, and accompany themselves on a variety of instruments in a variety of musical genres. Some of the work performed will be original, created by the performers themselves. There’s the aforementioned teacher—ahem!—performance that is generating lots of buzz (neither students nor faculty can keep from grinning when they mention it); there’s also a wildly anticipated drumline routine being put together by members of the high school band solely for One Morgan.
“The strength of this show is in the talent of our kids,” said Wilson.
The concert, which up until now has been publicized primarily on Facebook, will be a true concert—no printed programs for this group.
“We’re going to have a live feed of the concert projected on both sides of the stage—it’s like a rock concert,” said Davis. Newton will act as videographer, producing a dvd of the concert that will be available for pre-order—he also designed the One Morgan logo. Newton is also developing the graphics that will be displayed on-screen behind each performer, similar to the stage style adopted by American Idol.
“Mr. DeLaigle has been helping us a ton,” said Davis. “We’ve all been working non-stop for a week.”
“I’m just facilitating,” said DeLaigle. “The students are doing all the work.”
Published in the January 22, 2009 edition.