COA's 'Veterans Day Tribute' to honor those who serve

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In this submitted photo, the cast of a previous "Veterans Day Tribute" perform the show featuring patriotic songs and choreography at College of The Albemarle's Performing Arts Ceremony. This year's show will be Sunday at both 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.


By Anna Goodwin McCarthy

Thursday, November 8, 2018

This Sunday, College of The Albemarle will honor those who have served in the military by presenting a musical production of patriotic songs and choreography.

The “Veterans Day Tribute” will be performed in COA’s Performing Arts Center. Showtimes are at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“It is personally gratifying to thank the military,” said Jeffrey Emmerich, drama director at COA and director of the “Veterans Day Tribute.”

Emmerich’s wife, Gloria, serves as the show’s musical director and also sings in the production.

In front of a backdrop of an American flag, the show’s company of 42 performers will sing such patriotic standards as “God Bless America,” “America, the Beautiful,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”

During the performance of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” members of the company will form a tableau of the U.S. Marines’ famous raising of the American flag on the Pacific island of Iwo Jima during World War II. The iconic image is featured at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial near Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Emmerich said an especially moving performance features Mariah Schierer singing “I Never Knew His Name” from the musical, “The Civil War.”

Lorelle Phillips will perform a ballet dance on pointe, her movements reflecting the lyrics as Schierer sings.

“It will make you weep, it is so beautiful,” said Emmerich. “It is going to be a showstopper.”

Schierer is the costumer and choreographer for the production and her husband, Nathan, is the technical director and set designer. Together the couple will perform “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again.”

Sandra Krueger, an adjunct instructor of music appreciation at COA and associate director at Music off Main, will perform “The Star Spangled Banner.”

The trio of Gloria Emmerich, Mariah Schierer and Krueger will perform “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo” and “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.”

LaShaun Winslow, who performed in the COAST Players’ productions as King Arthur in “Camelot” and “Beast” in “Beauty and the Beast,” will join Alana Houston, who played “Belle” in “Beauty and the Beast,” to perform a swing dance number and duet to the song “In the Mood.”

During the song, “Sing, Sing, Sing,” Landon Phillips will join his sister, Lorelle, in a dance performance.

“Toward the end of the program we sing the anthems for all the branches of the military,” said Emmerich in what he described as a “patriotic and military medley.”

Emmerich plans to ask veterans and current members of the military in the audience to stand and be recognized for their service as each branch of the military is honored during the medley.

“It is meant to be a feel-good show,” said Emmerich. “Stand up and cheer.”

Tickets for the “Veterans Day Tribute” are $19.50 for adults, $18.50 for seniors, $9.50 for students and children, and $16.50 a person for groups of 10 or more. All veterans, active or retired military personnel will receive the student rate of $9.50.

Ticket information is available at www.albemarle.edu/for-the-community/the-arts/performing-arts-center/ or by calling 252-335-9050 or 1-800-335-9050.