The show was the 35th that music teacher Bozena Konkiel has worked on during her 18 years at the school. Starting in February, she wrote the script, picked the songs, arranged the choreography, and supervised students through every rehearsal.
“O Happy Day tells the story of a conflict between a music teacher and a church choir director,” explained Konkiel.
The choir director, played by Lucas Hartley, wants to stick with tradition and sing reverent songs, but a new music teacher, played by seventh grader Chloe Jerman, wants to bring energy to the songs.
“Bozena wrote it, and that’s amazing,” said Tatiana Serafin, whose sixth-grade daughter Anna played the principal. “I don’t know where she comes up with it. From the kindergarteners to the eighth graders, every class gets a singing part, every class gets a scene, every class gets to dance.”
“I’m left at a loss for words most of the time because it’s just incredible,” added real-life Principal Christina Cieloszczyk. “They get so into it, so involved, especially when they look out and see their parents or their grandparents.”
Konkiel said its the students who make the show go flawlessly year after year.
“They love to be part of the show,” she said. “They don’t mind missing recess, coming to school early or staying late just to practice. Without that devotion, the show couldn’t be possible.”
Konkiel’s passion for the show is reflected by the students on stage.
“The children really respect her and what she does,” said Joann Ort, whose sixth-grade daughter Gabriella played piano throughout the show. “She gets them to listen and to practice.”
Seventh-grader Chloe Jerman played the part of the music teacher and was one of several soloists.
“I think she’s great, but I’m biased,” said her father, John Jerman. “She’s dedicated to it, and I hope it leads to something.”
In addition to the spring show, St. Stanislaus has a Christmas show, talent show, and international night, but the spring show is the biggest and the one Konkiel says the children get most excited about.
She admits that fine-tuning every aspect of the show can be tiring, but Konkiel says she is motivated by the students.
“After the show is finished and I’m exhausted and packing my microphones, my students come up to me and say, ‘What show are we doing next?’” she said. “That’s the best thing I can hear.”