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WUES Receives Macy's Grant to preform "Yes, Virginia the Musical"

Students are practicing their "pigeon" dance.

This holiday season, Western Union Elementary School will stage a performance of “Yes, Virginia The Musical,” an original production based on a true story of 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon, who wrote a letter to the New York Sun newspaper in 1897, inquiring about the existence of Santa Claus.

The school musical program debuted last year as part of Macy’s holiday “Believe” campaign and was performed by elementary and middle schools nationwide.

Western Union Elementary School was one of 100 schools across the country to receive a local grant from Macy’s to assist with production costs, and will welcome the holiday season with a special performance of “Yes, Virginia The Musical” on December 5th and 6th at 6:00 PM, as well as December 7th at 3:00 PM.

During a time of financial setbacks for many educational arts programs, Macy’s has made the script and score for “Yes, Virginia The Musical” available royalty free to all schools and has created a free, digital toolkit on yesvirginiamusical.com. Macy’s also introduced a school grant opportunity to help schools stage productions of “Yes, Virginia The Musical” and awarded a total of $100,000 for 100 schools across the country.

The students at Western Union Elementary have been working diligently since October to rehearse and perform the musical under the directions of Mr. Chris Lacy, Ms. Angela Hill, and Mr. Evan Stevens, with assistance from Ms. Wendolyn Fernandez and Ms. Tristian Williams.

Western Union Elementary School is using all additional donations from the show performances to aid the Western Union music program in purchasing West African percussion equipment that can be utilized by the entire school community.

‘Yes, Virginia The Musical’ had tremendous impact on local school communities when we introduced the program last year,” said Martine Reardon, chief marketing officer for Macy’s. “The positive response was incredible, and participating schools told us that the royalty free assets helped them stage productions they may not have otherwise been able to produce, giving students an opportunity to engage in the arts and experience the all the excitement and fun of being in a school play. Macy’s is proud to offer ‘Yes, Virginia The Musical’ again, and we look forward to another season of magical performances.”

 “Yes, Virginia The Musical” is part of Macy’s beloved “Believe” campaign, which supports Make-A-Wish®.  The “Believe” program encourages children of all ages to drop their stamped letter to Santa at the red Santa Mail letterbox at their local Macy’s. For every letter received, Macy’s will donate $1, up to $1 million, to Make-A-Wish, helping to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

 

“Yes, Virginia” was created and produced by Macy's and JWT in conjunction with The Ebeling Group and MEC Entertainment, a division of Mediaedge:cia. “Yes, Virginia The Musical” was adapted from the animated special and storybook by Chris Plehal, by Wesley Whatley (music) and William Schermerhorn (book and lyrics), the Emmy® Award-winning creative team behind the original song “Yes, Virginia (There is a Santa Claus).”

 About Macy’s 

Macy's, the largest retail brand of Macy's, Inc. (NYSE:M), delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at approximately 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as to customers in the U.S. and more than 100 international destinations through its leading online store at macys.com. Via its stores, e-commerce site, mobile and social platforms, Macy's offers distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy's is known for such epic events as Macy's 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Macy's flagship stores -- including Herald Square in New York City, Union Square in San Francisco, State Street in Chicago, Dadeland in Miami and South Coast Plaza in southern California -- are known internationally and leading destinations for visitors. Building on a more than 150-year tradition, and with the collective support of customers, employees and Macy's Foundation, Macy's helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities giving more than $70 million each year to help make a difference in the lives of our customers.

 

For Macy’s media materials, including images and contacts, please visit our online pressroom at macys.com/pressroom.

Written by: Evan Stevens, WUES Music Teacher
Posted: Nov 13, 2013 by Carrie Johnson

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