Morgan Valley Ballet Company and Marcato Children’s Choir presented a show of fun and games, but it was obvious they put in a lot of work and practice to prepare for the performance.
“We’ve chosen our theme as fun and games,” Natalie Tibbitts, director of Morgan Valley Ballet Company explained of their spring show. “We love that it’s springtime. We love spring because of the warm weather, and you get to be with friends.”
Nearly 30 vocalists sang 11 songs, many of which included dancing and actions. The song “Art Thou Troubled?” was enhanced with sign language. The children sang “London Bridge,” one of the most well-known rhymes in the English language. While the audience was very familiar with the chant, they were not accustomed to hearing it in such beauty.
The talented group is conducted by Heidi Farmer and accompanied by Aimee Ferrin.
The four ballet classes each had their moment to shine. Most of the 45 ballerinas donned the iconic bun of the ballet world. Pink tights and ballet shoes also added to the classic atmosphere. This was the second recital for the girls this school year. To save families money, Tibbits opted to stick with the same costumes they used in the winter showcase. She did a beautiful job finding the perfect music to fit each one.
The Ballonnes group performed to “Touch the Sky” from the Disney movie “Brave.” Their dresses gave an Irish feeling with a laced up bodice, while their movements added to the feel. The Cabriolles joined in the Disney theme and danced to “When You Wish Upon A Star.” This oldest group of girls held ribbon wands as they danced their more technical routine.
The two youngest groups, the Bitty Ballet and the Itty Bitty Ballet, delighted the audience with their tiny feet and big personalities.
A handful of talented young ladies performed with both the choir and the ballet.
Heidi Farmer quoted Zoltán Kodály, “Often a single experience will open the young soul to music for a whole lifetime. This experience cannot be left to chance.”
“That’s what Natalie and I have been trying to do with our programs,” explained Farmer. The two work diligently to instill a love of the art they each adore.
The theme of the night was carried through by themed jokes. Instead of an emcee, the transitions were made by choir members telling riddles and giving information.
At the end of the night, Farmer and Tibbitts took the stage together to thank a long list of people that were involved in the production. On the list were Candis Wilder and her class for helping put up the decorations; Krista Johansen (as well as all of the moms who gave her a hand), who organized and made the decorations; Elina Sulberg of Norway, who helped with the ballet classes; Anna Tibbits and Kathy Glover for helping back stage with the tiny dancers; as well as many others.
“A special thanks to my dear friend Aimee Ferrin for accompanying for our choir,” Farmer said of the choir’s accompanist. “She is the best. The Best.”
Farmer added a thank you to the parents. “There is not a chance in the world that we could do something like this without your support. Thank you so much for all that you do for both of our programs.”
Then flowers were passed out to Farmer, Tibbitts and Ferrin.
“We appreciate you guys,” Verlene Johnson spoke on behalf of all of the parents. “These ladies do this with absolutely no charge to any family here. Every week they come and put in their time and talents to teach our kids to dance and to sing. It’s not just fun singing—she’s really teaching our kids how to sing. And Natalie’s teaching our kids how to dance.”
Johnson spoke of the real talents the children are gaining through the choir and ballet. But the kids would add that they are having some serious fun in the process.
Farmer and Tibbitts are talented in their area of expertise and their ability to teach others. The duo has an ability to put on a program that lifts and edifies the audience. The whole family benefits from their labor.