York College was thrown a curve ball this year when administrators were told they would have to find a new venue for the annual campus-wide production Songfest.
The show, which draws capacity crowds and is a major recruiting event for the college, had been held in the York High School auditorium for most of the last 30 years. This year, construction at the high school has interrupted usage of the auditorium for non-York Public School groups.
With no other optimal performance space in York, Nebraska, the college set about to make the production work in a different venue: the newly constructed Campbell Activity Center.
To make sure the production is as successful as possible, Cornerstone Bank is underwriting the show. Their support will provide the stage, lighting and sound equipment necessary for the production.
“We are so thankful for Cornerstone Bank’s partnership with the production,” says Steve Eckman, York College president. “Without their investment, we would not be able to put on the kind of high quality show our audiences have come to expect. Thanks to our friends at Cornerstone, this challenge has become a blessing: with the purchase of this stage, we will be able to have other events on campus, such as graduation, that previously we had to have off-site. We are tremendously thankful.”
Cornerstone Senior Vice President of marketing Ray McKenna says that his bank was eager to partner with York College because of the importance of the tradition of Songfest.
"Songfest is an impressive show," says McKenna. "The students put so much time and energy into it. It's a great time for families to visit York and an important recruiting tool. We felt that it was very important that Songfest not miss a year."
Cornerstone has enjoyed a good relationship with York College for years, says McKenna. "We understand the importance of the college to the community. We want to support YC in any way we can."
Songfest Director Amy Fraser says that this year's show has had unique challenges due to the venue change, but she is confident about the product.
"The initial news was shocking, but there have been many blessings along the way," Fraser says. "Having the production in the Campbell Activity Center means that we are starting from scratch. This has caused some stress but it's been an opportunity to rely on God as He's answered our prayers." Fraser commented that additional costs for renting or purchasing outright the equipment for the show this year, and the additional time for planning and researching these purchases, has been a strain.
"Despite the stress this change has brought on, I have a lot of excitement as we prepare to show our audience what we've created for them this year," she says.
Songfest will be performed April 4-6 at 7:30 p.m. This year’s hosts and hostesses are Erin Davidson, Angel Gray, Laurel Simpson, Ryne Smith, Jordon Suter, and Carson Tuttle. In addition to host and hostess numbers, each of the four men’s and women’s social service clubs will perform. Each year, approximately 25 percent of the student body is involved in Songfest and 1,500+ audience members attend.
Songfest tickets are $10 for preferred seating and $7 for general admission.
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