Sunday, October 03, 1999

Tony Award-winning songwriter to pitch in
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Jason Robert Brown, who won this year's Tony Award for best musical score for Parade, comes to Anderson High School on Thursday to talk about life and art. And students can thank drama
club officers Brian Huneke and Matt Gore for the visit from the Broadway

The reason for the visit is that Anderson is getting ready to be the first high school in the United States to perform Mr. Brown's Songs for a New World (Nov. 11-13).

"It's a revue about the complex, often over-complicated world at the end of the millennium," says drama program director Sherry McCamley.  "It's a very challenging show, but Anderson has a
phenomenal group of students. They have high expectations. They aren't satisfied with another
production of Bye, Bye Birdie."

The connecting theme of Songs, Mrs. McCamley says, "is we're all cruising along through life then wham, you're blindsided and it's how you react to the ups and downs that determine your survival.

"I like that theme, especially for high school kids. We can't choose what befalls us but we can choose which road to take."

Mr. Huneke found Mr. Brown's e-mail through a friend of a friend, then Mr. Gore joined the electronic correspondence and arranged the visit.

Mr. Brown will watch a full-cast rehearsal and give notes, then sit down with a piano and microphone for a late afternoon conversation session that's open to several other area schools and teachers.

"It's pretty cool," Mrs. McCamley says.

songs for a new world