Rock 'n' Roll will never die
Sherwood singers, dancers and musicians take the stage this weekend and next for 38th annual show
Photos courtesy of Gary Peters
Even in hard times, the show will go on.
That's the case for the 38th annual Sherwood High School Rock 'n' Roll Revival, which this year features 30 percent more musicians than ever.
But ticket sales are slow. In years past the show has sold out as soon as tickets went on sale. This year, however, tickets are available for all shows.
"Last year we had 42 musicians and this year there are about 60," said teacher William Evans, the show's music director. "We have a huge horn section. We just have to add more players per song. It's hard to say no."
The show's program was expanded to include two instrumental numbers and horn players will rotate in and out of the band between numbers to give more musicians a chance to showcase their abilities, he said.
The high energy show features Sherwood's top musical talent performing songs from the 1950s to the 1980s, all while wearing period-appropriate costumes and supported by backup singers and dancers. The theme this year is trains.
The elaborate set will reflect the train motif, Evans said.
"There is a big train engine that comes out of the bandstand and there are boxcars above the horn section," he said.
"The thing I always love about the show is that it's been going on for 37 years, but every year Mr. [Eugene] Orndorff always comes up with a new and interesting theme," said senior Nicole Zion, 17.
Although this is her fourth year in the show, it is her first year performing a solo. She will sing "Thing Called Love," originally recorded by Bonnie Raitt.
Train-themed songs, such as "Last Train to Clarksville," originally performed by the Monkees, and "Choo Choo Mama," originally performed by Ten Years After, are scattered throughout the 38-song set list.
The show will open with Kevin Aikins and the entire cast singing "Love Train," originally performed by the O'Jays.
Senior Rachel Blaustein, 17, of Olney has been a singer in Rock n' Roll Revival for four years. This will be her third year as a soloist. She will sing "Walking on Sunshine," originally recorded by Katrina & The Waves.
"It's an amazing experience," she said. "I love it. It's what I look forward to every year of school … It's definitely going to be one of the things I remember from high school."
The experience has also helped her decide that she will pursue a degree in musical theater.
Blaustein hopes the underclassmen new to the show will develop the same enthusiasm for the Sherwood tradition.
"I think the talent is a lot better this year than it was last year," she said.
The show will feature songs originally made famous by artists ranging from Elvis Presley to Aretha Franklin.
Evans expects all the tickets will eventually be sold.
"I think we're seeing much slower ticket sales this year because of the economy," he said.
Of the 6,600 tickets, several hundred remained unsold on Tuesday, Evans said.
The 38th annual Rock n' Roll Revival will be held 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday and again the following weekend at Sherwood High School, 300 Olney-Sandy Spring Road in Sandy Spring. Tickets are $15. Several hundred tickets are still available for Friday's and Sunday's shows and a few remain for Saturday. Tickets will be sold at the door 45 minutes before the shows begin.