By tia leorchick

The Morgan County Primary School (MCPS) held their annual Spring Musical on Mar. 20, entitled “It’s a Jungle Out There.” The production was written by Mary Donnelly and George Strid, featuring a cast comprised of a king, cheetahs, monkeys and elephants. Jeremy Skidmore, a MCPS music teacher, ran the show this year.

Charles Martin, a gifted second-grader, won the lead role of King Leo. According to Skidmore, the show is about “ the story of King Leo, a lion, who is so busy and stressed that he just wants to know what is the key to happiness.

He sends his faithful servants, Spots and Stripes, to talk with other animals in the jungle about the key to happiness. The cheetahs are no help because all they want to do is party, the monkeys only want to play video games, and the hyenas just think everything is funny.

The elephants have the real key to happiness when they tell spots and stripes to stop and smell the roses, which shows them that there is more to life than parties, money, and being popular, especially like having good friends.” The children performed with an accompaniment track. Betsy Short, MCPS principal for 7 years, was pleased with the performance.

“It was packed. There were lots of parents, grandparents and family members there. The children performed beautifully. Jeremy Skidmore leads them very well and they performed even beyond his expectations,” said Short. Skidmore estimated 450 people attended the show this year.

“I believe the show went very well, there were a few hiccups, but that is always the case and the joy of live theater,” said Skidmore. “I would like the community to know how proud I am of Morgan County and their support of the fine arts. It is amazing to me to see a smaller town who genuinely appreciates music and understands the value of music education.

I would like to say thank you to all my students who work hard everyday and thank you to those students who showcased an amazing performance and their parents for their awesome support.” Skidmore puts on one big musical performance per school year. Kindergartners, first graders, and second graders audition and are selected by Skidmore and other teachers.

Every year, parents, teachers and para-pros volunteer to build the sets, make the costumes, and help with with production. Short stressed the importance of supporting the music program at MCPS.

“We have to pay for the copyrights for each of the programs [Skidmore] puts on, so he really appreciates any donations to help with the music program,” explained Short. “But we have a very close-kint community and they support our students and we appreciate that very much,” said Short.