La Sierra University presents “The Sound of Music”
Feb. 16, 2012
By Darla Martin Tucker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (www.lasierra.edu) La Sierra University student Paulette Sheen Jumalon wasn’t sure she would get the part when she tried out for the lead role of Maria in the beloved musical, “The Sound of Music.”
After all she is a former, three-year pre-nursing major who switched gears to study music, and while she has racked up a short list of performance experiences, she felt certain others would outshine her.
“I put it in the hands of God, and the capable hands of the musical directors,” said Jumalon. “Ever since my mother brought home the video of “The Sound of Music” when I was around 10, I’ve always wanted to be Maria [played by Oscar-winning actress and singer Julie Andrews]. Her personality spoke to me in a way that I think has helped shape who I am today.”
Jumalon landed the revered role, and on Sat., Feb. 25 she will bring her talents to La Sierra’s stage as Maria in a production of the 1965 blockbuster film musical by iconic song-writing team Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. “The Sound of Music” will be performed in La Sierra’s Hole Memorial Auditorium on Feb. 25, 26, and March 1, at 7 p.m. each night. Admission is free. Tickets may be reserved, up to four per household, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject to availability. Each order of reserved tickets will incur a $1 handling fee.
The double cast will include La Sierra alumni and child actors from La Sierra Academy and Loma Linda Academy. La Sierra alumna and vocalist Cecia Garcia will play Maria on Feb. 26 and March 1. Joshua Rivera will play the character of Captain von Trapp, and Lloyda Leon and Natalie Hohensee will perform the role of Mother Abbess. Raejin Lee, La Sierra’s director of vocal studies is directing the production. Earl Richards II, director of choral studies serves as chorus director, and La Sierra University Symphony Orchestra Conductor John Carter is orchestra director for the musical.
Students from La Sierra’s art department, under direction of chair Beatriz Mejia-Krumbein, are painting set backdrops. “They did an amazing job for our full production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” in 2010 and I’m sure the backgrounds for “The Sound of Music” will be equally great,” said Lee. Set and costume design is by Shane Wood, an English graduate student with experience in directing and producing.
While Lee has directed operas, this will be her first directorship of a musical, she said. She selected “The Sound of Music” because students had asked to perform a musical production and in particular, wanted to do the Rodgers and Hammerstein work. Additionally, the songs for this musical can be performed with a classically trained opera voice, a key factor in the selection, Lee said. “And who doesn’t love “The Sound of Music?” she said.
For Jumalon, whose credits include performances in amateur productions of “Wicked” and “Jane Eyre,” “The Sound of Music” is an opportunity for additional musical growth. She particularly enjoys building relationships with the children in the cast. “They have a way of taking a piece of your heart and making sure that it’s always warm and fuzzy,” she said.
Her prior studies included an academic quarter at the Loma Linda University School of Nursing. Now Jumalon is happily ensconced in La Sierra’s music program with a focus on vocal performance. She has her sights set on earning a doctoral degree in music. “This dream includes creating another emphasis in Broadway/Musicals,” said the singer. “This dream seems daunting, but one must have [a dream] to achieve one.”
PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University