Beneath the Stage

By:  Emily Abel, Reporter


Jacob Ferrell as Phantom of the Opera prepares for the role of a lifetime.
Jacob Ferrell as Phantom of the Opera prepares for the role of a lifetime.

Pulling together this year’s musical production, Phantom of the Opera, took hours of work and preparation. Not only for the stars on stage in the spotlight, but also right beneath the stage in the orchestra pit. One student in particular found herself neck deep in the music of the night.

“I started taking piano lessons when I was about five and a half; it’s been almost 13 years now,” said senior Kendall Treadwell. And now all those lessons have started to pay off.

Treadwell took on the enormous task of accompanying Phantom of the Opera on the piano. While auditioning for the musical productions class Treadwell was told Mrs. Thorne was looking for an accompanist. When Treadwell didn’t make the cast she volunteered her piano playing talents instead. Starting at that moment Treadwell was with the Phantom from the very beginning.

“I got the music over the summer, but I didn’t really start practicing until we started doing auditions a week before school started,” said Treadwell.

The piano was a key factor in not only in the performances but for each rehearsal as well.  Treadwell was there for it all.

“I practiced along with the kids in the class. So once we started learning music and we would master a song I would have it mastered on the piano,” said Treadwell.

Treadwell mastered every musical piece in the show in order to help the class go through the musical from start to finish. Each of the songs were different, some harder than others.

“The hardest song to learn was probably Music of the Night, just because of all the sharps and flats,” stated Treadwell.

According to Mrs. Thorne, the production teacher, however, Treadwell was absolutely vital to the production.

“Oh my word,” said Thorne. “The play was what it was because of Kendall, seriously. Her skill level with how hard [the] music was; the different timings and different tempos, she was able to keep us on track for all of that and catch things that my musical director might have missed.  She [Treadwell] was vital in everything we did.”

Even with the various musical challenges Treadwell was able to play flawlessly. Besides expressing herself through the music, she found being involved with the production had other great advantages.

“I thought the best part of accompanying the play was getting to know everybody in the class. There were lots of kids in that class that I wouldn’t have gotten to know otherwise,” said Treadwell.

Students in the class also found working with Treadwell to be a positive experience; one student even described her as being ‘awesome’.

“She’s [Treadwell] awesome. Without Kendall there wouldn’t have been a show, it just wouldn’t have worked,” said senior Bryant Adams, a cast member in The Phantom of the Opera.