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Ocean Road School spring chorus concert features Animation Blockbusters Spring Chorus

Music and animated movies go together like Walt and Mickey. It’s no coincidence that sound was the spark that ignited the animation revolution, and that first song was a simple tune whistled by a little mouse. Today, the music is almost as big a draw as the movie itself. Though this winter’s “Trolls” performed well at the box office, its popularity is dwarfed in comparison to its theme song, Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” The Oscar-nominated hit was the number one selling single of 2016, with substantially more downloads than Trolls had ticket sales. Whether through reimagined classics like in this year’s “Sing” or completely original songs like in “Moana,” music has become an integral part of the movie-going experience.

In addition to “Can’t Stop the Feeling” some of popular music’s biggest hits have featured prominently in recent animated films, including Katy Perry’s “Firework,” which appeared in “Madagascar 3.” Classics “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” were both featured in the movie “Sing,” though the latter has the distinction of being one of the most used soundtrack songs of all times having been included in countless movies and TV shows, perhaps the most recognizable being “Shrek.”

Besides the theater and iTunes, the only place to hear the hits from animated films “Moana,” “Trolls” and “Sing” this spring was Ocean Road Elementary School’s Spring Chorus Concert, which was held at the school last month. The concert kicked off Point Pleasant Borough Schools’ spring concert series.

ChorusThe halls of Ocean Road Elementary School were alive with the sound of music the week of Apr. 24 as the Chorus, comprised of 79 fourth and fifth grade students, took to the stage for three performances of this year’s concert, entitled “Animation Blockbusters.” The show, inspired by hits from stage and screen, took audiences on a musical journey of movie song while, the choral members’ dialogue in between songs, had the students reminiscing on their educational journeys at Ocean Road School. The concert was especially poignant for the fifth grade choral members, whose time at Ocean Road School comes to a close in June with their promotion to Memorial Middle School.

Known for her complex and exciting arrangements, Ocean Road Choral Director Mary Cawley once again designed a thrilling concert experience that brought audiences to their feet. “Animation Blockbusters” featured an inspired blend of classic and contemporary songs that challenged the choral members to sing a diverse array of songs that spanned multiple genres and musical eras.

Mrs. Cawley has also earned a reputation for her incredible set designs, which perfectly complement each concert’s theme. With larger-than-life-size characters from “Trolls,” and “Moana” flanking the stage, this year’s set was no exception.

The concert got underway with “There Has to Be a Song,” followed by “A Mozart Canon,” which were the only two numbers that were not from a movie or play. The animation theme began with the third song, “The Lava Song” from the Pixar animated short “Lava,” which was accompanied by 14 chorus members on Chorus Concertukulele.

Next up was a trilogy of Lin-Manuel Miranda penned songs from Disney’s “Moana,” including “How Far I’ll Go,” “You’re Welcome,” and “We Know the Way.”

Contemporary hit songs “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake and “Firework” by Katy Perry were next, bringing audiences to their feet, before the chorus made a stop at the Great White Way for “Rise Up” a song inspired by “My Shot” from the Tony-award winning musical “Hamilton.” The concert closed with two numbers from Dreamworks “Sing” including “I’m Still Standing” and “Hallelujah.”

“With the many live performances, art and film festivals, and student award and recognition programs, spring is one of the most exciting here in Point Pleasant Borough Schools,” said Superintendent of Schools Vincent S. Smith. “These events and activities provide unique insight into the academic, artistic and athletic growth our students have experienced during the school year. It’s one of my favorite times of year in the district.

“Our performing arts department always does a tremendous job,” he said, “and while I always enjoy the seasonal concerts at all of our schools, I especially like attending the elementary concerts because I am consistently amazed by the students’ progress over such a short period of time. After watching Ocean Road’s Spring Choral Concert, I find it difficult to believe that this concert is many of these students’ second live performance, ever!

Point Pleasant Borough Schools’ Spring Concert Schedule
Concert Date, Time Location
6th Grade Band Concert May 9, 7pm Pt. Pleasant High School Auditorium
PPBHS Band Concert May 10, 7pm Pt. Pleasant High School Auditorium
7th & 8th Grade Band Concert May 11, 7pm Pt. Pleasant High School Auditorium
Nellie F. Bennett 5th Grade Chorus Concert May 16, 7pm Pt. Pleasant High School Auditorium
MMS Chorus Concert May 18, 7pm Pt. Pleasant High School Auditorium
5th Grade Band Concert May 23, 7pm Nellie F. Bennett Gymnasium
PPBHS Choral Concert June 7, 7pm Pt. Pleasant High School Auditorium
PPBHS Show Choir Cabaret June 9, 7pm Pt. Pleasant High School Auditorium