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Performing arts students take annual trip to Tennessee

02 June 2017

Instructors, students and supporters of the Pratt Community College Performing Arts department took their annual end-of-year trip as the school year came to an end. This is the fifth year the department has organized this trip for students to Tennessee and surrounding areas for a week of music, entertainment, service and fun.

Twenty-five students and 8 adults, including PCC staff and supporters of the program, traveled from Pratt to Missouri and on to Tennessee making different stops along the way and doing what they do best, performing.

“We try to make the trip a combination of musical performances and fun along the way,” said Misty Beck, performing arts instructor. “This trip is all about experiences and is really a "family vacation" to end the school year.”

The group of students and adults began their trip on May 14 driving from Pratt to Independence, Mo. where they continued the tradition of sight-seeing along the way including the Superman statue in Metropolis, Mo.

The Tennessee trip continued with five days in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Memphis where they combined sight-seeing with live performances at tourist spots as well as an assisted-living facility.

“We sang an hour show at an assisted living facility where the kids helped the residents dance,” said Beck. “Residents and students both enjoyed it a lot.”

The group visited the popular Dollywood theme park to soak up some Blue Grass musical entertainment as well as a variety of other genres where they performed for guests at the park and played a “selfie” scavenger hunt throughout the park snapping photos of popular attractions and people.

They also performed at the popular Country Tonite Show in Pigeon Forge on stage in front of a good sized audience.

Kwanza Jones is a sophomore at PCC studying Communications and has been involved with the Performing Arts department for a year. This was her first trip to Tennessee with the group and says that being on stage is something she loves.

“We opened the show at the Country Tonite Theater,” said Jones. “Before the show started the Encore group sang some of our more popular tunes. During the show I don't think I ever stopped singing along! It was a great experience and I can't wait to visit again.”

Travelling back home the group stopped in Memphis to visit Graceland and for dinner at King's Palace on Beale Street where they listened to some great blues by the resident musician.

“The musician at Beale Street remembered our group from last year and asked us to perform for the crowd,” said Beck. “We sang Soul Man and Children Go to a packed house. That was a lot of fun.”

The crew wrapped up their week in St. Louis, Mo. visiting the City Garden, Zoo and the famous Arch.

The PCC performing arts department organizes this annual trip with help from staff, faculty and the Pratt Community who continue to support students by attending events and sponsoring activities.

“We are so grateful to all of the wonderful individuals and businesses who have helped us this year by coming to our shows, participating in our fundraisers, donating money, sponsoring shirts, buying us food and supporting us through your positive thoughts and encouragement,” said Beck.

The Performing Arts Department at Pratt Community College performs a variety of shows and musicals throughout the year that students and community members participate in. During the summer the department organizes a Kids' Music Theatre Camp for community children who put on a musical at the end of the camp. This year Kids' Camp will be performing Suesical Jr. in June. For more information about the Performing Arts Department, please contact Misty Beck at mistyb@prattcc.edu.