By STEVEN NALLEY
Mary Kate Hughes is in two of the musical acts lined up for the Starkville School Districtâ€™s Music on the Green Thursday.
Hughes, a senior at Starkville High School, is not only part of a Starkville Community Theatre contingent slated to perform but also part of the SHS Madrigals. Music on the Green will be the SHS Madrigalsâ€™ first public stage performance of the year, she said, but she believes the Madrigals are ready.
â€śWeâ€™re definitely confident,â€ť Hughes said. â€śWeâ€™re always prepared to perform whatever (SHS Choral Director Regina) Weeks puts in front of us, and weâ€™re excited about people seeing it.â€ť
The Starkville Foundation for Public Education will present its third annual Music on the Green today from 5-8 p.m. at Overstreet School, offering live music and food to the community as a fundraiser for SFPEâ€™s scholarships and grants.
Tickets are free for children under 5 years old and cost $1 for older children and $2 for adults. Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs, blankets or picnic baskets, and they can also purchase pizza, soft drinks and snow cones at the event.
Musical guests include local acts El Rio Trio and Hard Luck Chuck, as well as the SHS Singers and Starkville Community Theatre cast members performing selections from their â€śUnpluggedâ€ť summer musical revue. SHS assistant choral director Joel Barron said the SHS singersâ€™ musical selection includes two songs from the TV show â€śGleeâ€ť called â€śLuckyâ€ť and â€śJust the Way You Are.â€ť He said it also includes â€śJava Jive,â€ť a 1940s-era big band song. Hughes said she is looking forward to performing at the event.
â€śItâ€™s always very enjoyable,â€ť Hughes said. â€śEspecially in this autumn weather, itâ€™s always nice to perform music and associate with the community in a really nice environment.â€ť
SFPE president Doug Bedsaul said the entire community, not just SSD students and families, is invited, including college students. In addition to the food and music, he said, face painting booths will also be available, and children will have the chance to arm-wrestle Marvel Comics superhero Iron Man.
When the SFPE created Music on the Green three years ago, Bedsaul said, it was looking to create not only a new fundraising avenue, but also a family-friendly event and a place to share a vision for the SSD. Each year has yielded new lessons, improved atmosphere and monetary success, he said, and the SFPE is hoping for an even better event this year.
â€śWe have a few other fundraisers that go along throughout the year, but theyâ€™re more mail-in and teacher donation programs that go along throughout the year, not actual events,â€ť Bedsaul said. â€ś(Music on the Green) is the only fundraising event we have. We have (an annual) fundraising goal of $35,000, which is an increase from last year. So far, weâ€™ve managed to pass every goal that weâ€™ve set for ourselves.â€ť
All of the funds SFPE raises return to the SSD, Bedsaul said. For instance, he said, SFPE is one of several contributors to Sudduth Elementary Schoolâ€™s forthcoming Friendship Playground, which accommodates students with special needs.
â€śOur funds go back to the SSD in two ways,â€ť Bedsaul said. â€śOne is for scholarships for graduating seniors. The other is for teacher grants, for money they can use in their classroom to provide innovative instruction techniques. Sometimes, that involves new technology; other times, that involves joining up to a nationwide instructional program (where the SSD teachers) need more materials.â€ť