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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Freshmen prepare for show

Monday, October 1, 2007  
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By Jacey Jacobs

Freshmen Fanfare is always a big attraction on campus, and this year is no exception. The production, cast entirely by freshmen, is in its nineteenth year at Oklahoma Christian University.

Director for the events center, Bob Lashley, came up with the idea of Freshmen Fanfare because he thought it would be a way for the freshmen class to showcase their talents and meet other students. He thought it would also be a good opportunity for the parents of the new college students to come and see an example of the freshmen experience.

“The fact is, you don’t have to be experienced at all with being in shows to be in this show,” Lashley said. “We will just put you in the acts. We don’t turn anyone away.”

This year’s show is under the leadership of three directors: Katy King, Emilee Holley, and Brent Stafford. This is the first year to have three directors, but the extra help is necessary due to the increase in number of students participating.

“Their main responsibility is to get the large group acts ready,” Lashley said. “I work with the tech crews and the band, and I try to pull all the pieces together on the last week. It’s a team deal. The directors are very much into it and coming up with very good ideas.”

Every year the freshmen vote on a theme, and together they decided this year’s theme would be the Freshmen of Oz.

Lashley says the show consists of simply having a list of songs, but also seeing what talent the freshmen class has and building a show based upon that. Auditions were held for individual acts as fillers between the big group acts. As much of the auditioned talent as possible is used. Other talent that is not auditioned is used as well.

“The idea is to use freshmen in every position possible, from spotlights to stage managers to band.” Lashley said. “It is to help them learn to do some things even if they don’t always have the experience in it, and they would like to learn. Then we will try to teach them some stuff as the show goes along. Hopefully, down the road they will learn even more and maybe end up being an advisor next year.”

Directors, Emilee Holley and Katy King, fondly remember last year’s Fanfare, and decided to find a way to participate again this year.

“I really liked being a part of Fanfare last year, and I thought it would be a fun experience being a director,” Holley said.

King helped some with Spring Sing last year as well and enjoyed it so much that she wanted to be a part of Fanfare this year.

While both Holley and King enjoy directing, there is a lot of hard work and many long hours involved in such a large production.

“We come up with the choreography and change the lyrics of the songs to fit the theme,” Holley said. “We do all the stage decorations, costumes and T-shirts.”

The directors also help select the feature acts and help them with their performance.

“It is something you have to be thinking about at all times during the day,” King said. “For every hour of practice, it’s two hours thinking about it.”

This year’s show is different and more difficult from years past.

“We really increased the amount of choreography and perfected it so it looks good,” King said. “Our goal is for it to look more polished. We work them to the bone, so at the end of the practices, they are sweating. We just keep repeating until it looks good. The freshmen this year will not be gaining the freshman 15.”

The show times are tonight at 7:00 and Saturday afternoon at 2:00. Seats are general admission and tickets cost $6 at the door. Oklahoma Christian students get in free with their ID.

“The audience this year will be in for a surprise,” King said. “This isn’t going to be an average typical Freshmen Fanfare; it will exceed all your expectations.”

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