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BW, TCO bring 'The Sound of Music' to the Blossom Music Festival

Prepare for a magical experience as an iconic musical, featuring top talent from BW's acclaimed Music Theatre program backed by lush symphony sounds, comes to life over the Labor Day weekend.

Cast members for The Sound of Music, with Lauren Senden '23 (center) playing Maria , rehearse Do-Re-Mi

Students from the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music's renowned Music Theatre program are collaborating with The Cleveland Orchestra (TCO) to close out the 2022 Blossom Music Festival on September 3 and 4 with Rogers and Hammerstein's treasured "The Sound of Music."

The lightly staged musical will be directed by BW Music Theatre director Victoria Bussert, with the Akron Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andy Einhorn, and feature talented BW singers set to be the next generation of Broadway stars.

Second Music Theatre Collaboration

Lauren Senden

"The Sound of Music" is the second summer collaboration between BW Music Theatre and The Cleveland Orchestra's Blossom Music Festival; the first was a 2019 presentation of "South Pacific."

"I was in awe of the company of 'South Pacific' when I arrived at BW as a freshman, and now it is amazing to be a senior and feel prepared to fill those shoes," says Lauren Senden '23, who will play the lead role of Maria.

"'The Sound of Music' has been a part of my life ever since I remember, from watching the movie with my grandparents to singing the songs for warmups at the Mankato Children's Choir (back home in Minnesota). I am delighted to get to share Maria's passion for music and care for her children with this audience."

Return to a Divine Venue

Hanako Walrath

Hanako Walrath '23, who performed the role of Liat in 2019's "South Pacific" as a freshman, plays the eldest Von Trapp daughter, Liesl, this time around.

She, too, is "thrilled" to present such a treasured musical in such a beautiful setting. "'The Sound of Music' is such a classic, and it's so exciting to be a part of a show that many people grew up with."

"It's especially exciting to do this show at a venue like Blossom," she notes. "It is by far the largest stage I've ever performed on, and the full orchestra ties it all together in a way that I can't quite explain."

Extraordinary Weekend

The concerts represent a rarified experience for Senden in more ways than one.

"This is only the second time 'The Sound of Music' has been presented in this concert version, so it will be a very special weekend to share with friends and family. This will actually be the first time my grandparents will be traveling all the way from Minnesota to see BW and to see me perform!"

"Every show I have been able to be a part of at BW has taught me so much," she adds, "and I look forward to applying what I have learned to this next production."

BW Cast and Tickets

In addition to Senden and Walrath, BW Music Theatre majors in named roles include Danny Bo '23 as Friedreich, Mark Doyle '23 as Rolf Gruber, Will Boone '23 as Max Detweiler, Andie Peterson '23 as Elsa Schraeder, Mia Soriano '23 as Sister Berthe, Kinza Surani '23 as Sister Sophia and Camille Brooks '22 as Sister Margaretta. Additional BW talent is featured in the ensemble of nuns.

A BW graduate, Lauren Tidmore '20, is serving as choreographer for the show.

Tickets for "The Sound of Music" at the Blossom Music Festival, Saturday and Sunday, September 3 and 4, at 7 p.m., are available online at The Cleveland Orchestra's website.

Cast members rehearse for performances of The Sound of Music at the Blossom Music Festival.

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