Registration opens for second-annual “Sing and Play” musical competition

SILER CITY, N.C. — Registration is now open for Sing and Play ’19, the second-annual musical competition scheduled for February at Jordan-Matthews High School.

Sing and Play highlights musical talent in separate competitions for elementary, middle and high school musicians. Vocalists and instrumentalists who are students in a North Carolina public, private or home school may register through January 29 to receive an audition appointment and perform either as an individual or in an ensemble of up to four musicians.

Acts selected during auditions on February 5 will participate in the Sing and Play ’19 Showcase Competition on February 21, where audience members will select the winner in each age-based competition. General admission to the showcase is $5 per person. Each of the three winning acts receives a $50 cash prize.

Rules and registration information are available online at JMArts.org/events/.

“This will be a great show. Our community really enjoyed it last year,” said Greg Burriss, director of this season's competition. “But we really want to provide this opportunity for young musicians to sing and play before a live audience, to have that challenge and experience in this supportive environment. For students interested in performing, even the audition can be an educational opportunity."

Sing and Play ’18  winners were Kaitlyn Evans of Chatham Charter School, Edith Soto of Chatham Middle School and Corrine Collison of Jordan-Matthews High School.

Sing and Play is produced by JMArts, the Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation. All proceeds from the event are used by JMArts to help high school artists thrive. More about the foundation and competition is available online at JMArts.org.

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 Corrine Collison, then a junior at Jordan-Matthews High School, won the Sing and Play ’18 high school competition back in February. She recently performed on stage as Ursula in the school’s production of “Disney’s The Little Mermaid."

Corrine Collison, then a junior at Jordan-Matthews High School, won the Sing and Play ’18 high school competition back in February. She recently performed on stage as Ursula in the school’s production of “Disney’s The Little Mermaid."

 Master of ceremonies Orlando Balderas, from left, stands with Sing and Play ’18 winners Corrine Collison, Edith Soto and Kaitlyn Evans. Registration is now open for Sing and Play ’19, which will be held in February at Jordan-Matthews High School.

Master of ceremonies Orlando Balderas, from left, stands with Sing and Play ’18 winners Corrine Collison, Edith Soto and Kaitlyn Evans. Registration is now open for Sing and Play ’19, which will be held in February at Jordan-Matthews High School.

Greg Burriss named director of second-annual "Sing and Play"

SILER CITY, N.C. — Greg Burriss, a musician and pastor of Rocky River Baptist Church near Siler City, has been named director of Sing and Play ’19, the second-annual musical competition sponsored by JMArts, the Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation.

Sing and Play highlights talent in separate divisions for elementary, middle and high school musicians — either vocalists or instrumentalists, who may perform individually or in small ensembles. Contestants must be students attending a public, private or home school in North Carolina.

Winners will be selected by audience vote during a showcase concert on Feb. 21 at Jordan-Matthews High School, with auditions being held on Feb. 5. Each of the three winning acts receives a $50 cash prize.

Burriss served as an audition judge during the inaugural Sing and Play earlier this year. He is a vocalist and mandolin player for the New Direction bluegrass band and performs frequently at Rocky River Baptist Church. He also is an actor who appeared locally in Temple Theatre’s 2008 production of “Footloose."

“We are very much looking forward to our second-annual competition,” Burriss said. "Last year, we had tremendous talent in the show from young people in our area. We’re inviting all of the singers and instrumentalists among students in Chatham County and beyond to come out and show us what you can do!”

Last year’s winners were Kaitlyn Evans of Chatham Charter School, Edith Soto of Chatham Middle School and Corrine Collison of Jordan-Matthews High School.

Sing and Play raises money used by JMArts to help high school artists thrive. More about the foundation and competition is available online at JMArts.org.

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 Greg Burriss, right, consults with Joey Walden while judging auditions during Sing and Play ’18 in February. Burriss has been named director of Sing and Play ’19, the second-annual musical competition scheduled for February at Jordan-Matthews High School.

Greg Burriss, right, consults with Joey Walden while judging auditions during Sing and Play ’18 in February. Burriss has been named director of Sing and Play ’19, the second-annual musical competition scheduled for February at Jordan-Matthews High School.

“Disney’s The Little Mermaid” swims onto the JM stage November 15-17

SILER CITY, N.C. — "Disney’s The Little Mermaid," a haunting love story based on the Hans Christian Anderson tale and Disney’s classic animated film, will swim onto the Jordan-Matthews High School stage later this month with a large student cast for three performances only.

Performances at the JM Auditorium are Thursday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Nov. 17, at 4 p.m. General admission tickets are $5 each and now available online at JMArtsTickets.com. Remaining tickets will be sold at the door and child care will be provided by student clubs with a suggested donation of $5 per child. No passes — including Chatham County Schools and senior citizens’ passes — can be accepted. Everyone entering the theater, regardless of age, must have a ticket. 

“Disney’s The Little Mermaid” is the story of Ariel, King Triton's youngest daughter, who wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above. In the process, she makes a bargain with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems, and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends — Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull and Sebastian the crab — to restore order under the sea.

The musical features several familiar songs, including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World.” It opened on Broadway a little more than 10 years ago and ran for 685 performances, receiving a Tony nomination for Best Original Score. Since then, it has been performed by regional theaters across the United States and at international venues around the world.

Jordan-Matthews’ production features a huge, 47-member cast, but not all of them are high school students. Auditions were held in September to select 10 cast members from Chatham Middle, Siler City Elementary, Virginia Cross Elementary and Silk Hope schools to perform in three full-cast numbers.

While the musical’s content is designed for a family audience, Rose Pate, president of JMArts and producer of the musical, says “The Little Mermaid” may not be appropriate for younger children. A minimum attendance age of 5-years-old is strongly suggested.

“This is a fairly long show that runs about two hours, 20 minutes,” Pate says. “We know how restless children can get over such a long time and that could make the evening less enjoyable for parents and more challenging for performers in a live production. The great news is that we are providing child care for the same price as a ticket, so parents and older children can have a great time in the musical and younger children can enjoy a fun evening of activities.”

Child care with snacks will be provided by JM’s HOSA and LEO clubs, with adult supervision, at a requested donation of $5 per child. Care will be provided in the JM Media Center, located near the auditorium, so parents will have time to check in with their children during a 15-minute intermission between the two acts.

In addition to Pate, other members of the creative team are director Jessica Nunn, musical director Matt Fry, costume designer Cynthia Bredenberg and scenery designer Rahma Mateen-Mason.

“Disney’s The Little Mermaid” features music by Alan Menken with lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater. The book of the musical was written by Doug Wright. It is based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and the Disney film that was produced by Howard Ashman and John Musker, and was written and directed by John Musker and Ron Clements. The musical was originally produced by Disney Theatrical Productions.

More information about the production and other arts events scheduled for this season is available online at jmarts.org.

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 Scuttle the seagull (Jennifer Henderson) proudly displays his latest human artifact to Ariel (Jennifer Trejo Benitez).

Scuttle the seagull (Jennifer Henderson) proudly displays his latest human artifact to Ariel (Jennifer Trejo Benitez).

 Sebastian the crab (Lindley Andrew) reminds Ariel (Jennifer Trejo Benitez) about her responsibilities to her father's undersea kingdom.

Sebastian the crab (Lindley Andrew) reminds Ariel (Jennifer Trejo Benitez) about her responsibilities to her father's undersea kingdom.

 Scuttle the seagull (Jennifer Henderson) and Sebastian the crab (Lindley Andrew) try to persuade Ariel (Jennifer Trejo Benitez) that life is better under the sea.

Scuttle the seagull (Jennifer Henderson) and Sebastian the crab (Lindley Andrew) try to persuade Ariel (Jennifer Trejo Benitez) that life is better under the sea.

 Flounder (Sydney Suits) wishes that Ariel (Jennifer Trejo Benitez) would look at him the way she looks at the human prince.

Flounder (Sydney Suits) wishes that Ariel (Jennifer Trejo Benitez) would look at him the way she looks at the human prince.