Fairytales and Frosting Makes Memories for All Ages
For the third consecutive year, on a Saturday afternoon and evening in mid-February, Cedarcrest High School’s choir students have offered something unique and distinctive to our Riverview community. The annual Fairytales and Frosting event combines the characters made famous in Disney films, with their iconic songs, and brings the fantasy of animated adventure into the reality of a concert event.
Recently, Riverview’s Communications Coordinator Michael Ward sat down with Ryan Lewis, Cedarcrest High School and Tolt Middle School choir director, to talk about the event, discuss its origins, and why it gains more and more popularity with each passing year.
Q: How did the idea of a Fairytales and Frosting event take place?
RYAN LEWIS: A fellow music teacher I know shared the details of an event they hold â€“ “Disney and Desserts” - I believe it is/was called. I brought the idea back, we tweaked our event to be more focused on kids and community and added an element of individual student soloists. Fairytales and Frosting was born.
Q: What was it like pulling this together from that concept to what it has become now?
LEWIS: That first year, it was very much driven by student leadership and the event still is to this day. Other than some guidance here and there, and advise from parent volunteers, this is rich with student creativity â€“ the tables all having themes, each table different. I haven’t really streamlined much, just allowed them to be creative.
Q: This event just wrapped up its third year. What changes have you seen and how does it continue to draw sell-out crowds?
LEWIS: Everything about the event is built around student voice. We start and end with a piece that brings all students together, whether they have solos are work as part of the wait staff, assisting our guests. We now network better for sponsorships and advertising with local businesses, but honestly, this event has always been a success because students and parents work together for the common goal of creating a memorable event while providing an educational opportunity for showmanship, community outreach, and leadership skills. The students focus on performance and presentation, but even though they may not realize it, they learn about so much more.
Q: It seems to really leave an impression on the kids and adults who attend. Kids now dress up as their favorite Disney characters.
LEWIS: I think we create some magic at this event. Our students always think big and I love seeing their dreams come alive and evolve not only in their performances, both solo and as an ensemble, but in the way they interact with the children in attendance. They stick to character, they take pictures, they create memories for not only themselves but for the families they talk to.
Q: What have been some of your favorite moments so far?
LEWIS: Each year, we finish with a powerful number, the culminating pieces really rock and come together well. The first year, we closed with “Go The Distance” (from Hercules), and “Let It Go” last year (from Frozen). This year, we performed “Circle of Life” (from The Lion King). Especially with “Let It Go”, it was fascinating to see everyone dancing and singing together since, everyone knew that song so well when we performed it.
Q: Describe the response and feedback you’ve received.
LEWIS: Everyone who comes to Fairytales and Frosting, parents and community members alike, will see the love and passion for music in the students’ eyes. The student performances really turn the magic on for the show, but the last couple of years we have had (Cedarcrest science teacher and Cascade Community Theatre member) Davin Henrikson serve as our storyteller, for something different, and we have had ballet performers dance on stage, in character, for a different kind of performance. The event has really evolved and incorporates children of all ages.
This year’s Fairytales & Frosting event drew more than 300 people between the afternoon and evening concert. Keep your eyes peeled for a fourth year of this event, when Cedarcrest’s Choir plans to bring this concert back again in February 2018.