Click here to watch the students' performance at the downtown Macy's.
In celebration of the sixth anniversary of Macy’s holiday “Believe” campaign, the retailer is bringing the beloved “Yes, Virginia” animated special to life on school stages across the country! “Yes, Virginia: The Musical” is based on a true story and tells the heartwarming tale of 8 year-old Virginia O’Hanlon, who wrote a letter to the New York Sun newspaper in 1897, inquiring about the existence of Santa Claus. Myrtle Ave. Elementary School of the Keystone Oaks School District was one of 100 schools across the country to receive a local grant from Macy’s to assist with production costs, and will welcome the holiday season with a special performance of “Yes, Virginia, the Musical” on Dec. 19, 2013 at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Also, on Friday, Dec. 6, some of the students performed selections from the show at the downtown Pittsburgh Macy's.
During a time of financial setbacks for many educational arts programs, Macy’s has made the script and score for “Yes, Virginia: The Musical” available royalty free to all schools and has created a free, digital toolkit on yesvirginiamusical.com. Macy’s also introduced a school grant opportunity to help schools stage productions of “Yes, Virginia: The Musical” and awarded a total of $100,000 for 100 schools across the country. Myrtle was one of the recipients of a $1,000 Macy’s grant.
“We are thrilled to provide “Yes, Virginia: The Musical” royalty free to schools across the country this holiday season,” said Bill Schermerhorn, vice president / creative director for Macy’s Parade & Entertainment Group. “In a time when funding is often cut for creative programs, Macy’s wanted to support art and music as another extension of our Believe campaign, created to inspire goodwill and generosity during the holiday season and beyond.”
“Yes, Virginia: The Musical” is a part of Macy’s beloved “Believe” campaign, which supports Make-A-Wish®. The “Believe” program encourages children of all ages to drop their stamped letter to Santa at the red Santa Mail letterbox at their local Macy’s. For every letter received, Macy’s will donate $1, up to $1 million, to Make-A-Wish, helping to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Second year music teacher Rob Naser, who applied for the grant and is directing the program and who directed the same show at Dormont Elementary last year, explains this is far from a one man show. "We are all very grateful for Macy's help in putting on this production and we are very excited to start our own tradition of bringing the stage to life and giving our students an opportunity to share their talents with the community," said Naser.
“Yes, Virginia” was created and produced by Macy's and JWT in conjunction with The Ebeling Group and MEC Entertainment, a division of Mediaedge:cia. “Yes, Virginia: The Musical” was adapted from the animated special and storybook by Chris Plehal, by Wesley Whatley (music) and William Schermerhorn (book and lyrics), the Emmy® Award-winning creative team behind the original song “Yes, Virginia (There is a Santa Claus).”
For more information about Macy’s “Believe” campaign, please visit social.macys.com/believe.