Freed-Hardeman University’s Pied Pipers, Company II will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the formation of the troupe at FHU with a reunion of former Pipers Saturday, Nov. 9, during Homecoming festivities. In addition, this date will mark a revival of the Pied Pipers at FHU.
The Pipers, an improvisational theatre group that performed primarily for children, formed in 1969 under the direction of the late Hank McDaniel, Jr. For 26 years under “Uncle Hank’s” direction, troupe after troupe delighted audiences of all ages using songs, poems and stories to spark imagination and creativity. The group celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1993, the last time they met with McDaniel who died two years later. The group continued for another 15 years under various other directors, but went on a 10-year hiatus in 2010.
Pied Pipers, Company II has returned to FHU this fall under the direction of Dr. Chris Creecy, assistant professor of psychology and a Piper from 1992-96, and Carole Cosbey, enrollment assistant and a Piper from 1994-98.
Creecy said he started planning a reunion and found himself reviving an experience that had been significant to him. “This group has meant so much to so many and has been so important to the mission of Freed-Hardeman,” he said. “I feel like this is the right time to bring Pied Pipers back to the FHU campus.”
Members of this year’s edition of the Pied Pipers are: Bryson Boggess, Andalusia, Alabama; Brianna Crosby, Valdosta, Georgia; Natalie Estes, Germantown, Tennessee; Matthew Kelley, Newberry, Florida; Emily Means, Bentonville, Arkansas; Chase Milam, Bartlett, Tennessee; and Emily Sowell, Paragould, Arkansas.
Cosbey said she hopes “to inspire these students to go on spreading fun stories and imagination to elementary schools everywhere.”
This year’s Pipers will join alumni Pipers for a reunion show Saturday morning, Nov. 9, at 10:00am in Chapel Hall. Former Pipers who want to participate will meet at 8:30am for a brief rehearsal. After the show, current and former Pipers are invited to a luncheon in Old Main.
The 2019-20 edition of the Pipers will continue in the tradition of the former group, but will add some new stories and songs. In addition to the Homecoming show, the troupe will present a chapel program Nov. 21, which would have been McDaniel’s 79th birthday. They also plan to participate in Henderson’s Christmas parade Dec. 5. They hope to begin performing in schools during the spring semester.
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Henderson, TN 38340
FHU / Dickson
FHU / Memphis
5565 Shelby Oaks Drive
Memphis, TN 38134
855 Highway 46 South
Dickson, TN 37055
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