In March, twenty students from MSU’s new BFA Musical Theatre program served as ambassadors for the University by traveling to Miami, Florida’s Four Seasons Hotel, for a fun and sun filled four days of hard work and performance for Children’s Resources, one of the nation’s largest charity organizations.
This black tie event, which raised over two million dollars for children with physical and emotional disabilities, was attended by over 400 people and was sponsored in part by the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida. The guests included our own College of the Arts dean, Dr. Geoffrey Newman, Dr. Edward Snyder of Livingston, Department of Theatre and Dance Professor Michael Allen, as well as several state and national politicians. Children’s Resources recently celebrated their 30th year of serving the South Florida community by providing both educational and treatment opportunities for over 200 children from the ages of three to six with physical/ emotional disabilities and special needs. Children’s Resources sponsored the MSU students’ travel and hotel expenses through corporate underwriting in exchange for their participation and performance.
The students served as live entertainment for the evening and their hard work and dedication were certainly portrayed in their performance. The performance consisted of four themed production numbers, staged by Clay James, Coordinator of Musical Theatre at MSU, that were prepared with weekend rehearsals during the spring semester. Students were chosen for the event through an audition process and volunteered their time and talent for a very worthy cause. As guests of the Four Seasons Hotel, the Musical Theatre Students got to rub elbows with Serena and Venus Williams, Owen Wilson, and Star Jones, who were on hand for the Sony Ericson Tennis Tournament on Key Biscayne, as well as enjoyed some well deserved down time at the bayside pool and South Beach.
At the conclusion of the star filled evening, aptly titled “The Sky’s the Limit,” two major benefactors’ of Children’s Resources, Michael Hightower of Blue Cross/ Blue Shield and Peggy Armaly of Coral Galbes were so impressed with the performances of the MSU Students, they requested the Head Chef of the Four Season Hotel prepare a special five course meal in appreciation of their effort and hard work toward making the evening a success. At the event, Montclair State University and the students’ received national focus and a review in the Miami Herald Newspaper that stated the students’ performances as “spectacular” and “sensational.” Plans are already underway for an encore appearance as the students of the BFA Musical Theatre program have been asked to return for next year’s event, which is scheduled for March 13, 2010 at the Miami Intercontinental Hotel.