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Blue Mountain Academy Enacts Noah’s Flood for Community
Story by Blue Mountain Academy Staff
Sylvan singers form a choir of angels.
It took more than 100 Blue Mountain Academy (BMA) staff, students and school friends the entire school year to prepare for a recent two-night performance of “Noah’s Flood,” a fully staged musical presentation of the biblical story. Their hard work paid off when more than 600 people from Seventh-day Adventist churches near the Hamburg, Pa., school and local visitors gathered in the M.W. Schultz Auditorium on closing night.
The free, three-act show involved performers from BMA’s musical groups—band, handbells, strings and choir—and gymnastics team, and incorporated the music arrangements of various Romantic composers (i.e. Beethoven, Dvorak, Holst, Orff, Puccini, Verdi) along with personal compositions and lyrics by Maestro Lawrence Galera, BMA’s music chair. Others credited with helping create the production are Karyl Kramer, English teacher, who wrote the stage dialogue; Coach Alex Balanos, who choreographed the gymnastics scenes; Christy Link, a community member, who made the costumes; and Eric Engen, BMA music director, who composed additional music. The 12 main roles of the cast included Noah, played by senior Ivan Ramirez; naysayers played by juniors Audrey Jackson and Michael Wong; Jesus, played by senior Michael Marr; and the voice of God, provided by senior Stephen Acosta.
Chaplain Shawnesy Cargile and Maestro Galera are the visionaries behind “Noah’s Flood,” and imaged the initial states of the production last summer. They spent long hours collaborating with fellow BMA colleagues through musical and dramatic development, then started rehearsals with the choir, symphony orchestra and main cast in early January.
“I really appreciated all the time and hard work everyone put in to making ‘Noah’ happen,” commented Acosta. Senior Amy Beisiegel, who played the role of Jerusha, Noah’s wife added, “Being a part of something so much bigger than all of us was an amazing experience.” Glen Wilson, a local Adventist, also mentioned that he “received a blessing from the success of the program.”
Galera credits experiences he gained during college and at previous jobs, where he helped put on similar performances, are what inspired him to help write and direct this show. “I believe the Lord enriches us with experiences to do His will,” he says, reflecting on his past. “Coming back into the work setting, I have always wanted to write and produce a dramatic musical work; and what better way to use your dreams and goals but for the ministry of the Lord. The biblical events of Noah was not a story of devastation, but of salvation; a reminder that God will save humanity from the destruction of sin and of Jesus’ soon return.”
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