HRMS opens the book on 'Princess Slob'

February 18, 2012

Following in the footsteps of inventive Hood River Valley High School music and drama productions, Hood River Middle School teens and teachers are simultaneously bringing to life a new musical and opening a new chapter at HRMS.

According to HRMS music teacher Rebecca Nederhiser, this is the first full-scale musical to be done at the middle school in anyone's recent memory, and may be the first ever.

In a partnership with Mark Steighner, mentor musical director from HRVHS, Nederhiser is undertaking her own first musical as a teacher and director.

To add to Nederhiser's creative inspiration, Steighner wrote the musical's script and lyrics and composed the original tunes for the show, entitled "Princess Slob."

"The message is truly about the power in being yourself and letting your own unique qualities shine," said Nederhiser. "The show is really geared to fit this age group and the issues they face.

"Set in a faraway kingdom, the story features a young tomboy princess named Ally who is sent to 'Lady Higgins' School for Girls.' There she is horrified to find snooty princesses obsessed with the idea of being 'perfectly perfect.' Luckily, Ally finds a friend and the two discover what being a princess really means," said Nederhiser.

It seems that in addition to the fun, singing, dancing and laughter, the audience may enjoy a few good life lessons in this family-friendly production.

"Kids, staff and parents have worked tirelessly on the show," said Nederhiser. "We are all very lucky to have the generosity of Mark Steighner because we couldn't have afforded to do a musical of this caliber without him creating one for us."

Twenty-six HRMS students will perform alongside four HRMS adult staff members. In addition, according to Nederhiser, many HRMS parents and volunteers contributed behind-the-scenes, including accompanist and music teacher Kathy Smith, costume coordinator Shawnie Emmons and Laura McAllister, who designed the set - making this a truly collaborative production.

Performances, which will last about an hour, will be offered four nights, Feb. 17, 18, 24 and 25, at 7 p.m., with matinees starting at 2 p.m. on both Saturdays. Adult tickets are $5 and youth are $3.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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