The Making of this Year’s Fourth Grade Musical

In just two short days, the fourth grade class of 2019 was forced to squeeze in as much rehearsal time as possible for the elaborate Fourth Grade Musical. Although the girls started rehearsing the songs of Tom Sawyer, the classic story about the mischievous adventures of a young boy and his friends, in September, only two days of auditorium space were permitted to them before their March 23 performance.

“Maybe even an hour more of practice would have been better,” says fourth grader Audrey.

Even so—the show was “outstanding, including both comic relief and adorable actors!” says freshman Mary, who attended the musical.

“It was a lot of hard work, but really fun,” is what most fourth graders have to say about the Fourth Grade Musical, which differs from other Lower School performances “because it was more like a Broadway production” and “a lot more serious” say fourth graders Lauren and Isabel.

Although strenuous at times, all fourth graders agree that the production and performance of this musical was overall an exciting journey. Memorizing lines, building sets and advertizing were all part of the process. But there were ups and downs along the way.

“Once, Mrs. Jones said she was very disappointed because we weren’t memorizing our lines on time,” says fourth grader Adoette, who didn’t realize the musical was approaching so quickly.

The musical included Mark Twain as a character, played by fourth grader Amanda. Despite her many lines as narrator, she says memorizing lines “wasn’t very hard, actually.”

Nineteen of the 51 girls in the grade had speaking parts, while the rest were chorus members who sang and danced. “We were dancing backstage as well. It was fun!” Amanda says.

However, none of the seven songs including “Hannibal” and “Extra, Extra” were sung as solos. “‘A Pirate’s Life for Me’ was my favorite song because we actually got to dance. The rest of it was like hand motions,” says Isabel, who played one of the chorus members.

The girls also recount that the makeup and costumes were far more elaborate for this musical compared to their other performances in Lower School.

“I was the only person who wore a wig…and some other people wore mustaches like the bank robbers,” Amanda says.

Successful despite the time crunch, Tom Sawyer has been a bonding experience for the class of 2019. One fourth grader exclaims, “Now, I can’t wait for the Eighth Grade Musical!”