An original musical by Dr. Alan Kinningham, associate professor of music theory and composition at Freed-Hardeman University, will be presented to the public for the first time Tuesday, March 10, at 6:00pm in the Kelley Doyle Recital Hall in FHU’s Draughon Music Center. A cast of 20 students will present a concert/reading of “The Shepherd of the Hills,” based on a 1907 novel of the same name by Harold Bell Wright.
The musical consists of 29 songs with musical orchestrations written for a 14-piece ensemble. Students will perform the songs accompanied by a computerized representation of the orchestra. They will read the script without acting or scenery, much like a radio production. Dr. Gary McKnight, also a member of the FHU music faculty, cast the production and rehearsed the students for the presentation. “Dr. McKnight has been a key player in making this production possible. I owe him a great debt of gratitude,” Kinningham said.
Although some of the songs have been performed in public to very good response, “Up to this point,” Kinningham said, “this project has been primarily just in my head and on paper. This production will provide a better sense of time and the flow of the story itself. We can also test to see if lines meant to be humorous are actually funny to a live audience.”
The musical, set near present day Branson, Missouri, is a fictional account of Ozark mountain folklore and the virtue of forgiveness. It tells the story of Dad Howitt, a popular minister from the city who has come to the Ozarks seeking a new identity and a fresh start, and Sammy Lane, a young lady coming of age who has been promised to a young man who has inherited a factory in the city. Before he marries Sammy, he expects her to become the “proper lady” a person of his stature would wed.
Kinningham undertook the five-year project because he “wanted to write something monumental” for FHU’s 150th anniversary, currently being celebrated. He estimates the play will run a little over two hours. He is not sure, since the play has not yet been performed.
Wright’s novel has been the basis for three movies and a television program. The public is invited to see the inaugural production of this musical version. Admission is free.
158 East Main Street
Henderson, TN 38340
FHU / Dickson
FHU / Memphis
5565 Shelby Oaks Drive
Memphis, TN 38134
855 Highway 46 South
Dickson, TN 37055
Don't worry. We'll walk you through the entire process. Apply now for free and then schedule a campus visit to experience something that pictures just can't capture.
Whether you're just beginning your college journey or seeking your doctorate, take your next step here.
Take advantage of the tight-knit community and unique opportunities by finding the club or organization where you will belong.
Getting Married? Land a new job or position? Becoming a new parent? Your FHU family wants to brag about it!
You help change the world when you invest in the lives of young people. You can make a difference today with your gift.
FHU has a history of talented student athletes and coaches who have helped make FHU Athletics what they are today. Check out who these students are and what accomplishments they've made. Know someone who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame? Use the nomination form below to tell us about it.
Schedule your campus visit today, and see why Freed-Hardeman University is right for you.
Copyright © 2021 Freed-Hardeman University. All rights reserved.