Above: The Pizza Party is an upcoming choir concert show about three very different people who attend the same party and discover that they are not so different after all.
by Stephen Dafoe
A choir concert with audience sing-alongs, games, and Christmas trivia will occur on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 2:30 p.m. for one show only at St. Albert United Church (20 Green Grove Drive).
The show, a partnership between Acting Out Musical Theatre and So Noted Choir, is a unique way to celebrate Christmas.
“This play will be a fun experience where three very different people attend the same party and discover that they are not so different after all,” said Morinville resident and So Noted Choir member Sheila Scharmann. “There is some mixup as to whether the party is a pizza party or a Christmas party, but by the end, it doesn’t matter as the attendees find that everyone is insecure sometimes. Everyone withdraws at times and judges themselves too harshly while failing to notice that others feel the same way. They realize that we all need reassurance and acceptance and that by supporting each other, we can have a positive impact on the lives of those who struggle.”
Scharmann explained that there will be Christmas jokes, trivia, stories and a sing-along during the concert, as well as a 50/50 draw and two door prizes of Christmas Cheer baskets. And, as the title suggests, everyone who attends will be given a piece of pizza to go at the end of the show.
So Noted has 40 members, and looking to expand, while. Acting Out Musical Theatre has 15 members plus a crew made up primarily of friends and family of cast members.
Scharmann has always sung, even travelling to Europe with a choir when she was at Camrose Lutheran College. She has been involved with So Noted for about eight years.
“After my husband passed away, I was looking for a group so I could become engaged with the community again. I never really had time to look into joining another choir until I retired,” she said. “So, after Fred passed away, I was looking around on the internet and stumbled across the website for the St Albert Singers Guild.”
Scharmann said she was hooked after the first rehearsal. So Noted spun off from the Guild, and she followed the new Choir’s director, Criselda Mireau. It has been a positive experience she hopes to be part of for many years.
“What I have found in singing under her direction is a choir family that has forged strong bonds and, as a result, care for each other as a blood family does,” Scharmann explained. “Criselda is immensely talented with a great sense of fun, so she challenges us with a variety of music and styles, while encouraging us to enjoy the music and the sense of accomplishment we achieve when we perform. Each rehearsal and production is great fun – we have many laughs as we hone our craft. I have learned so much about the technical aspects of singing as well.”
The other side of the production’s partnership is Acting Out Musical Theatre. Scharmann said Mierau and director Tim Anderson collaborate to produce the shows they put on. Mierau’s daughter Katya Mierau also assists with writing and directing.
“The cast is mostly made up of young people who love Acting Out, but there are some seasoned veterans in the group, too,” Scharmann said, noting she hopes to see many Morinville and Sturgeon County residents and the show.
“There is no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to go to a concert or play. We’re providing both, so it’s win-win,” Scharmann said. “The music she [Mierau] chooses is a mix of old beloved classic carols mixed with upbeat songs that perhaps some of the audience will not have heard before. Even some of the well-known and loved Christmas songs get a new twist with the exciting and innovative arrangements she has chosen. Music lovers will be delighted.”
Tickets are $20. Call Verla at 780-238-5617 or email email@example.com. For more info, visit aomt.ca.