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Ferndale Schools Talent Shows April 16, 30, and May 1

GallowayCollensTOPsunsetREVISEDFerndale Schools Talent Judy_Palmer30yearsShows April 16, 30, and May 1

(EVENT page)

Ferndale Elementary Stars Take the Stage This Month

Coolidge Elementary – Saturday April 16th

Kennedy Elementary – Saturday April 30th and Sunday May 1st

If your idea of an elementary talent show is a few songs, some juggling and a piano duet performed in front of a backdrop decorated with tissue paper, you have not experienced Ferndale’s school talent shows.

j and d adKennedy and Coolidge schools are filled with talented students, and their annual productions have raised the bar in recent years, living up to the Ferndale School District’s strong reputation in the performing arts.

This year’s productions will be at Ferndale High School; Coolidge kids (grades 4-6) take the stage Saturday night,  April 16, and Kennedy’s show (grades K-6) follows two weeks later on Saturday night, April 30, and Sunday afternoon, May 1.

Coolidge’s theme is “Greatest Hits,” reminding the audience of those record compilations from back in the day. The students began picking their acts in February and also got right to work on the show’s intricate hand-colored posters.

The show’s director, parent Helen Lambrix, has been coordinating the 31 acts, and is especially excited about the show’s finale.

“There won’t be a dry eye in the place,” Lambrix said.garden16_darlene_bignotti

Kennedy’s show is “All You Need is Love,” and features music of the Beatles. Through song, dance and comedy, 28 acts will tell the story of the Fab Four from “Twist and Shout” in the Cavern Club all the way to Paul McCartney’s 2015 hit “Four Five Seconds” with Rhianna and Kanye West.

“One of our principal goals is to show to our students the unparalleled diversity and continued relevance of these artists, spanning over six decades,” said the show’s director, parent Tommy Onyx.

In addition, a founding member of McCartney’s band Wings, Denny Seiwell, will be appearing in the show “via satellite”, Onyx said. A special guest onstage will be Stewart Francke, who is also doing workshops with the kids. The iconic Michigan recording artist has performed and NewWay_Jazz_Tuesdaysrecorded with such superstars as Bruce Springsteen, Steve Earle and Sheryl Crow. Also behind the scenes, world-renowned singer-songwriter Ann Saunderson (Inner City / Virgin Records) is providing vocal coaching for the young singers.

Even with some of these big names, the Kennedy and Coolidge students are definitely the stars; more than 200 total for both shows.   Teachers and staff will join in too. And both productions are backed by parent volunteers, many of whom come from backgrounds in the music, set design, costume and video production fields. Ferndale High School students participate also, as members of their younger siblings’ acts and in backstage roles.

Ferndale’s business community has been especially supportive, through program ads and other sponsoring activities. Watch the productions’ Facebook pages for details: “Coolidge Talent Show: Greatest Hits!”  and “All You Need is Love.”

Not wanting to be left out this year, Roosevelt Primary School’s Chazzano02students and staff presented their talent show in March, to a packed house in the school gym on a Friday night. Parent director Nikki Amey described a second-grader who was so nervous at the auditions but came through for the performance.

“She got up in front of the entire school, and sang ‘I Will Always Love You’, and then the next day got up in front of 300 parents and did it again.”

In addition to being part of an enriching experience for the students, these productions also raise money to expand educational opportunities and support for our elementary school children. Tickets will be available at the door, but shows have sold out in the past. Advance tickets can be purchased for Coolidge’s show at the school (248-547-1700) and for Kennedy’s show at

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