“A Blast from the Past” – Mount Olive College Style

MOUNT OLIVE – “We are here and we are making a statement,” said University of Mount Olive Chamber Choir Director Risa Poniros about the group’s performance of “A Blast from the Past.”  And what a statement they did make!

Nearly 200 people attended the dinner theatre production of “A Blast from the Past”, an original musical production written by Poniros and two of her students Michael Foster of Toms River and Sara McDaris of Wilson.  The script included many local references and was staged as a 50’s style diner complete with a jukebox.  Musical selections from Louis Armstrong, The Beatles, Journey, and others took guests on a nostalgic journey in time.

“The performance blew me away,” said Gracie McEvoi of Goldsboro.  “I’m originally from New York and this is the best show I’ve seen in years.”

“It was an awesome show,” said Gail Sutton. “It brought back so many wonderful memories.”

“I loved it,” stated Char Batten of Greenville. “The Chamber Choir is such a talented group.”

 “This was the best date I’ve had in a long time,” Penny Ziemer of Goldsboro said.  “It was like a glimpse of Mount Olive Broadway.”

“The music was from my era and I could not sit still for tapping my toes,” said Doris Hood of Grantham.  “It was also the best meal I’ve had in a long time.”

Prior to the show guests enjoyed a meal of a fresh garden salad, bacon-wrapped filet mignon, stuffed potato, stuffed tomato, asparagus, and ice cream sundaes prepared by Pioneer College Caterers.  Adorned with Jessie Jones hats, the University of Mount Olive women’s basketball team and the men’s soccer team served the meal.

Stuart Burnham, interim chair of the Department of Music, volunteered his vocal talents to the performance as David Hines, chair of the School of Arts and Sciences, played lead guitar.

“This has been such a fun experience,” Hines stated.  “It has been great seeing these kids come together and get excited about music from another era.  I haven’t played rock-n-roll for years, and I loved every minute of it.”

I just don’t have enough good things to say,” commented Karen Sutton of Mount Olive.  “It was a tip-top event with good entertainment, great food, and an opportunity to socialize with wonderful people.  I hope the College plans more of these events in the future.”

“I can’t think of a better way to showcase the talents of our students,” said Dr. Philip P. Kerstetter, president of University of Mount Olive.  “I love the cultural arts – they enrich, enlighten, enable, and empower us.”

University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The College, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park, Washington and Jacksonville.  For more information, visit www.moc.edu.