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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Adams conducts 'Peter Pan' musical

Monday, April 7, 2008  
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By Jacey Jacobs

The end of the school year is near, but for Professor of Music Ken Adams things are just starting to get exciting.

Adams will be the music director for a run of 20 performances of the musical, "Peter Pan."

The orchestra and the actors have now been practicing for more than five weeks and plan for today to be the first viewing of the production.

The musical will be performed at the Pollard Theatre in Guthrie, April 4 through May 10.

The Pollard Theater is the only professional year-round resident theater in Oklahoma.

The cast members are from all over the country, and the music director of the resident theatre is Oklahoma Christian University alumnus Bart Varner.

For Adams, conducting musicals is nothing new but is always a challenging task.

He has been involved with music in various ways since he started working for the Oklahoma Christian in 1972.

He has been a part of countless operas, Broadway shows and orchestral masterworks.

"The hardest part of being a conductor in a musical is that the conductor has to follow as well as lead," Adams said. "By that, I mean that sometimes I have to wait on the actors to finish their lines or stage business before the music proceeds."

Conducting is an opportunity few can handle. Adams estimates he spent more than 50 hours learning the score which was about 200 pages of orchestra music.

"As a conductor, I mainly do the preparation on my own while the cast is doing their rehearsal," Adams said. "This is how I get to know the music well enough to lead a group knowledgeably."

Even though Adams has had multiple dealings with musicals, the "Peter Pan" production will only be his second time dealing with the Pollard Theatre.

"Peter Pan" was first produced on Broadway and is one of the world's most celebrated musicals.

Fans from near and far will be attending the show.

"I'm definitely going to be at the show," junior music major from University of Central Oklahoma Brad Stowe said. "During my childhood I never experienced "Peter Pan," and I want to see what all the hoopla is all about."

Both Alpha and Beta will be attending the musical for their spring banquets.

Beta President senior Brittany Scott has been working out the details and planning Beta's banquet since January.

"When I was beginning to plan for our banquet, I began searching different things that were going on in our town or nearby," Scott said. "I found the production that way, and I love "Peter Pan." It just sounded like a lot of fun."

Adams is pleased the social clubs are planning to attend the production.

Unique to the musical is the professional team of flyers flown in especially for the show.

The flyers are trained to deal with soaring through the stage — sometimes as high as 15 feet off the ground.

"It's going to be a very exciting show, and I think I would encourage people to see it because of the spectacular flying," Adams said.  "Flying is so difficult, and it's not performed very often. It's going to be a great show."

Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office. Seats are $15 dollars for students and $25 for the public.

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