By William T. Clew | The Catholic Free Press
They have raised the money and have done the work.
Now comes the celebration.
So Holy Name Central Catholic Junior/Senior High School is going to present a musical show, “What We Do For Love,” in its newly restored performing arts center.
The Joseph R. Burke Center for the Performing Arts at Holy Name has a strong reputation for its enrichment courses of art, theater, music and dance. The auditorium was showing the wear and tear of years of heavy use. It needed some serious attention.
The auditorium chairs were noisy when people sat in them or got out of them. The backs on some of them were broken. The floor was stained and light fixtures needed attention. There were times that electronic equipment was balky. The stage needed more lighting and the walls and ceiling needed painting, according to Headmaster Edward Reynolds.
The cost to replace the 571 chairs in the auditorium was estimated at $138,000. An alumni fund drive to raise $150,000 began in the spring, 2015, he said.
But soon five major donors made grants to the drive. The Alden Trust gave $75,000. The Grenon Family Foundation gave a matching grant of $50,000. David Grenon’s three daughters were students at Holy Name, Mr. Reynolds said.
The Fuller Foundation gave $40,000 and the Sisters of St. Anne and the Wilson Language Corp gave $10,000 each, he said.
Alumni, parents and friends of the school joined in enthusiastically. One fund-raising method was to sell seats for $200, $400, $500 and $1,000, the price depending on where the seats were located. The $1,000 are front-row seats, Mr. Reynolds said. Donors have their names inscribed on the backs of the seats they paid for. The names of donors to the fund also will be inscribed on a wall near the auditorium entrance.
With the $150,000 reached quickly, the school decided to go for more and cover the cost of the entire renovation. The drive ended with $250,000.
All 571 chairs were removed and replaced with upholstered, blue (and quiet) new ones. The auditorium was repainted, light fixtures were updated. There now are three banks of lights for the stage. A new sound system has been installed. And there is a state-of-the-art, computerized, sound and light control room at the back of the auditorium. Students interested in learning theater production are being taught how to operate the control room, he said.
The finished product impressed some of the school band members who, when they saw it from the stage were moved to tears, Mr. Reynolds said.
A public musical show, will begin at 7 p.m Oct 29, preceded by a cocktail hour beginning at 6 p.m.
Mr. Reynolds said the auditorium is used for Masses, school assemblies, theater groups, dance groups, the chorus, the annual Adopt-A-Student talent show, the musical put on by Assumption Elementary School of Millbury and, if there are openings, local groups. During the summer it is used by a theater camp.
A cast of familiars presents ‘What We Do for Love’
Professional entertainers who are graduates of Holy Name Central Catholic Junior/Senior High School will highlight the musical show Oct. 29 to celebrate the renovation of the school’s Joseph R. Burke Center for the Performing Arts.
The show, titled “What We Do For Love,” will feature music from Broadway, according to Christina Seger, Class of 1984, who will be host.
Performers will include Jane Shivick, Class of 1986; Sarah Callinan, Class of 1999; Michael McCarthy, Class of 2007; Steve Gagliastro, Class of 1993 and Dan Gable, Class of 2007.
Ms. Shivick and Ms. Callinan are classically trained sopranos who have sung in operas and concerts throughout the United States and overseas. For a time, Ms. Shivick was Ms. Callinan’s voice teacher.
Mr. McCarthy is a dancer with Royal Caribbean Cruises and Mr. Gagliastro is an actor. Mr. Gable, head of the music department at Holy Name, will perform with his band, the Abletones.
Mrs. Seger said members of the school’s chorus, dance program and band also will also take part. A cocktail hour from 6 to 7 p.m. before the show will be hosted by Wormtorn Brewery and the Niche Group, made up of restaurants including Pepe’s and the Wonder Bar.