The Adventures of Lewis
and Clark: Blackwood School Uses Music to Teach Lewis and
The Triumphant Cast of The Adventures
of Lewis and Clark, a musical at Blackwood School, Gloucester
Township, includes eight "explorers" among named characters
from the 1803 "Corps of Discovery". From left: Kneeling-Craig
Pate as York, Stacy Holloway as Sacajawea, Dalton Townsend as
"Scannon" the Newfoundland dog, Andrew Galligan as the
interpreter Charbonneau. Middle standing-Jon-Michael Knapp, Sharon
Fitzpatrick as Cassie the narrator, Chuck Ransford as Clark, John
Huhn as Lewis, Stephen Bayer, and Daniel Axelson. RearEric
Mullin, Michael Watson, Kevin Davis, Stephen Hale, and Stephen
Yurko. Adults in foreground are (l to r) Principal Dwight Counsel,
honored guests Rose and Frank Muhly and music teacher and show
director Patricia Patelski.
Book and music by Roger Emerson, John Jacobson,
and Allan Billingsley. Book and music for the show available to
teachers from Hal Leonard Corporation, at 7777 West Bluemound
Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53213 . This purchase allows any non-profit
organization to put on the show which comes complete with nine
songs, and speaking parts for the story line, and suggestions
for choreography. There is also a CD available with the basic
(Photos by Norma Milner)
"CHARBONNEAU": The French interpreter,
fur trapper and husband of Sacajawea is played with flair by Andrew
Gilligan while carrying a paddle.
RECORDER ENSEMBLE performs under direction of music
teacher Pat Patelski who has taught them the instrument and score.
"TUMBLIN' WATERS": A rippling parachute
adds zest to song about the Missouri River.
An alert music teacher at Blackwood School in Gloucester Township,
NJ read an Inquirer article about Frank Muhly and Lewis and
Clark (Sunday, April 28). She immediately found him in the Philadelphia
phone book and called. Her fifth graders musical on Lewis
and Clark was coming up very soon. Patricia Patelski invited Frank
and Rose to The Adventures of Lewis and Clark, and days later,
Principal Dwight Counsel was proudly introducing the Muhlys to a
gym-sized room full of students and parents as the musical opened.
Two students, Mike Watson, and Sunnye Bush, had made the program
covers showing the explorers paddling and hunting, and a tribute
to founder Frank and Rose Muhly was even included. It also mentioned
that the Philadelphia Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage
Foundation would hold its annual meeting in Philadelphia in
August, 2003, the bicentennial of Meriwether Lewis spending a critical
month in this city in the spring of 1803. (The meeting
will be at the Loews Hotel at 12th and Market.
The musical, with a cast of 121 from five fifth grades, was highlighted
by Mrs. Patelskis creative talents and ebullient energy. An
amazing production, it is a good demonstration of an alternative
method for teaching this history unit. Mrs. Patelski said that she
got 15 copies of the book and music for the show from Hal Leonard
Corporation, at 7777 West Bluemound Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53213
. This purchase allows any non-profit organization to put on the
show which comes complete with nine songs, and speaking parts for
the story line, and suggestions for choreography. There is also
a CD available with the basic music recorded.
Here is a brief outline of how Mrs. Patelski Proceeded On.
The addition of a recorder ensemble, drums, melody bells, and dancers
were here own creative additions. She began to cast the show in
the fall, allowing the youngsters to volunteer. In music class she
introduced the CD. The classes sang all the songs together at first.
Then she passed the microphone along to students to sing along,
so she could get an idea of their singing ability. Students were
then asked to list their wish list of who they would
like to play. Then she videotaped them reading their favorite acting
parts. I had to read a lot of Lewis and Clark books to keep
up, she said. Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose
was a mainstay. She knew about the importance of Philadelphia because
that was covered in the early part of that book, she said.
The story begins with a fifth grader, Cassie, played by Shaun Fitzpatrick
telling her friend she had to write a history paper about the exploration.
She then turns into a narrator of a sort of dream sequence of the
expedition with episodes Lewis and Clark fans would know. The main
characters and many of the other 121 presenters wore costumes of
their own design. Lewiss Newfoundland dog, Scannon in this
play, tied the action together with a loud Ruff now
and than and a rousing song called Lifes Ruff.
To give the show enough sparkle to keep the first graders
from stamping their feet too much, Mrs. Patelski assigned
many phrases in the songs to soloists who lent their talents to
the lines. For one song, Tumblin Waters, the chorus
circled a parachute and fluttered it while 10 explorers
sang phrases of the song. Mrs. Patelski cheered especially for one
of them, Durand Talley who met the challenge of his first singing
role with zest!
Mrs. Patelski was particularly proud of the recorder ensemble.
Since third grade, she has been working with students who chose
to give up recess to learn to play, and with Latch Key students.
She devised a recorder score using colors and fingering exercises.
Melody bells are also used in her classroom and added much to the
performance. Meriwether Lewis was played by John Huhn, William Clark
by Charles Ransford. Stacy Holloway was Sacajawea while her interpreter
and trapper husband was played by Andrew Galligan, who carried a
family paddle. York was played by Craig Pate, and the
dog Scannon was Dalton Townsend. Members of the Expedition were
Daniel Axelson, Stephen Bayer, Kevin Davis, Stephen Hale, Jon-Michael
Knapp, Eric Mullin, Michael Watson, and Stephen Yurko.
Historic voices were heard as follows: Thomas Jefferson by Anthony
Pickard; James Monroe by Jeff Smith, and Robert R. Livingston by
A notable song sung by Adam Kovnat as Napoleon Bonaparte was Lets
Make A Deal, adding some humor to the Louisiana Purchase.
Sheryl Mangulabnan played a recorder accompaniment.
When asked if the classes had come to this phase of history in
their studies, Mrs. Patelski said with a grin, Not yet, but
then, Ive taught it already, havent I?
"OH THE JOY! Ocian in view!" Blackwood
fifth grade chorus sings the famous words of William Clark from
the Journals written as the explorers reached the Pacific.
HONORED GUESTS Frank and Rose Muhly watch attentively
from their seats near director Pat Patelski.
SUCCESS! The Corps celebrates the end of the journey.
The Adventures of Lewis and Clark
by Roger Emerson and John Jacobson
Announcer- John Clark
CASSIE - Shaun Fitzpatrick
MERIWEATHER LEWIS - John Huhn
WILLIAM CLARK- Charles Ransford
SACAJAWEA- Stacy Holloway
CHARBONNEAU - Andrew Galligan
YORK - Craig Pate
SCANNON - Dalton Townsend
Members of the Expedition - Daniel Axelson, Stephen Bayer, Kevin
Davis, Stephen Hale, Jon-Michael Knapp, Eric Mullin, Michael Watson,
1. THE BALLAD OF LEWIS & CLARK Amanda Weiss, Marquise Alford,
Matt Scarlata, Kristy Manzo, Kaitlin Kopec, Ethan Chadwick, Danny
Anderson, Anthony Clark, Tierra Blair, Andrew Seladones, Contessa
THOMAS JEFFERSON - Anthony Pickard
JAMES MONROE - Jeff Smith
ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON - Matt Tentnowski
2. LET'S MAKE A DEAL
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE - Adam Kovnat
Brittney Henry, Jon Davis, Lauren Nauss, Joey Falcone, Elizabeth
Milicia, Zach Hemple, Kasheem Black, Jacky Wang, Caitlin Rutter
Recorder Player - Sheryl Mangulabnan
3. LIFE'S "RUFF!"
Soloist - Dalton Townsend
4. THIS IS OUR HOME
Drummers - Brittni Green, Leah Truitt, Andrew Jennings, Kevin Davis
Melody Bells - Samantha Shannon, Keith Bradley, Michael Righter,
Melissa Jacobson, Ryan Hannon, Octavius Williams, Sara Pawloski
Narrators - Krishna Prabakatan, Sheryl Mangulabnan, Sunhye Bush,
Soloists - Jaclyn DeCecco, Kiersten Scargill, Jessica Baker, Vanda
5. FORK IN THE ROAD
Soloist - Bianca Stowe
Chris Kodrasoc-Wolff, Milana Hunter, Jay Curtis, Camille Holmes,
Robert Glass III, Ryan Mitchell, Erin Killeen, Timmy Smith, Cory
Patterson, Khya Mack, Turquoise Moore, David Clark
6. TUMBLIN' WATERS
Soloists - Schuew Vang, Rajon Hughes, Ashley Mancine, Corey Rasmussen,
Ashley Brown, Tyler Costill, Alexandria Davis, Alaina Julia, Durane
Talley, Zakiyah Davis
7. O! THE JOY!
Soloists - Joleen Kavaliauskas, Alexus Joseph-Nix, Timmy Owoh, Dennis
Day, Brittney Dinardo, Alexis Conway, Rachel Levin, Nichelle Jones,
Announcers - Kellianne Bond, Zach Lynch, Shamira Alford, Rebecca
Lucas, Evian Lindsey, Ariel Grandinetti, Ashley Callahan,
Leslie Lafferty,Christina Capezza, Brittni Green, Megan Herrera,
8. REPRISE: THE BALLAD OF LEWIS & CLARK
Dancers - Alaina Julia, Ashley Callahan, Rachel Levin, Dana McLarney,
Orlando Martinez, Alex Smith, Mark Miniconzi, Matt Partyka, Matt
Scarlata, Rupal Patel, Shawna Donaldson, Sonya Kiett-Turner, Jozalin
Vega, Kate Nealon, Stephanie Williams, Dillon Baptiste, Josh Gil,
Researcher- Courtney Mayhew