Are you a teenager in 8th grade to 12 grade looking to spread good cheer to the Sussex County Community? Are you needing to complete service hours and want to help bring smiles to the faces of first responders and senior citizens? Come out for the North Star Theater Company’s (NSTC) Christmas Caroling auditions on Monday, November 2, at 6 p.m. at Our Lady of the Lake Church (OLL), 294 Sparta Avenue in Sparta. The audition will be held in the music room of OLL and is open to all high school students.
Dr. Deborah Gianuzzi, of Newton, a music teacher at Sparta High School, music professor at Sussex County Community College and a board member of NSTC will be directing the chorus, which will consist of multiple Christmas Caroling groups that will sing throughout the county. To keep social distancing, each group will consist of 10 singers with an adult chaperone. Masks must be worn at all times.
Helping to coordinate the Christmas Caroling is fellow NSTC board member, Allison Ognibene, of Sparta, who also serves as the youth minister at OLL. “There are many students who need to obtain service hours, whether it is for high school national honors society, religious service hours, or college application requirements,” said Ognibene, whose OLL confirmation group needs to do 15 service hours for the year. “Since many opportunities have been halted due to the pandemic, we thought to team up with NSTC to create worthy opportunities for those who love to sing and want to raise the spirits of the community.”
Those in the Christmas Caroling groups must wear masks and will learn six traditional Christmas songs in four-part harmony. Rehearsals will be held in two places, NSTC studio, 21 Kennedy Avenue in Ogdensburg and OLL Church so students can maintain proper social distancing. Christmas caroling will be done outside in various places throughout Sussex County the first weekend of December, including the tentatively scheduled Sparta Township Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, December 3 at 6 p.m., and the Homestead Nursing Home, The Sparta Police Department and Sparta Municipal building and Our Lady of the Lake Church on Saturday, December 5.
In addition to the Christmas Caroling, some of the singers will be invited to perform in NSTC’s production of “The Birth” written by Frederick Buechner and adapted by Ryan Stockton. Directed by Debbie Gianuzzi, “The Birth” is a story about a wiseman, an inn-keeper and a shepherd and their account of what occurred the night of the birth of Jesus. “The Birth” will be performed at Western Hills Christian Church and other venues.
“We wanted to provide opportunities for teenagers, who are not only interested in singing, but performing,” remarked Gianuzzi. “Whether you just want to sing Christmas carols or perform, come out to Our Lady of the Lake’s music room on Monday, November 2. I look forward to hearing everybody sing.”
For more information about the auditions, visit the NSTC facebook page at North Star Theater Company or the website at www.northstartheater.org
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Photo: Dr. Deborah “Doc G” Gianuzzi, music director of North Star Theater Company, who will be leading the Christmas Caroling. Auditions are November 2 at 6 p.m. at Our Lady of the Lake.