Twelve young performers from the Branson area experienced a journey of a life-time this past week as they successfully fulfilled a dream that began six months ago; an opportunity to participate in one of the Nation’s leading high school music education programs, Festival Disney in Orlando, Florida.

The students (from youngest to oldest) include; Hallie Groff (9), Jake Musser (13), Sydney Pride (13), Megan Rodgers (13), Jordan Kendrick (15), Noah Beyer (15), Moritz Mund (16), Jacob Deeter (16), Alex Knudsen (16), Carter Hendrickson (16), Dani Groff (18) and Brenna Kellem (18).

In August 2018, the Branson Regional Arts Council (BRAC) announced a new youth education program to provide vocal music, dance and theatre training for area students between the ages of 8 and 18. Open auditions were held at the Historic Owen Theatre, and from the dozens of youth who tried out, six boys and six girls were selected to form a musical show choir group called “Staccato”. This advanced choir combines a challenging musical repertoire with entertaining choreography to provide a unique, one of a kind, arts education experience for young students in the Branson area.

Kim Hale is the Vice President of BRAC and serves as the Educational Advisory Chair for the new arts program. Lloyd Alexander-Holt is the BRAC Education Director and Director of Vocal Studies, Kristen Dasto is the Director of Dance Studies, and Jacob Estes is the Director of Theatre Education.

Shortly after the show choir was formed, these talented directors announced an ambitious goal of sending Staccato to perform at the Festival Disney event. Since that time, the talented troupe of performers has been very busy rehearsing, fundraising, and performing at various area events including the Grand Opening of the new Mercy Branson Multi-Specialty Clinic, the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, the DBBA’s Piccadilly Gala, as well as multiple performances at the Historic Owen Theatre and as a pre-show for the Hughes Brothers Theatre.

Their performance at Festival Disney was reviewed by nationally respected members of the National Music Adjudication Coalition including Dr. Gregory Fuller (Director of Choral Activities at The University of Southern Mississippi), Dr. Craig Zamer (Director of Choral Activities at Tennessee Tech University), and Dr. Kathleen Shannon (Conductor and Vocal Pedagogue with extensive credits) who also spent several minutes with the students and directors after the performance to offer her expertise and professional assessment and guidance for further improvement. Comments from these professionals were extremely enthusiastic and positive, providing a perfect conclusion to an exciting week of Disney Magic for these deserving students.

In addition to the directors named above, other integral members of the BRAC Education program team include: BRAC President Lisa Murphy, Vocal Instructor Perry Harper, Administrative Assistant Karie Dykeman, Fundraising Coordinator Viola Beyer, Executive Director Jim Barber, and additional Festival Disney trip chaperones Roz Slavick and Michelle Rodgers.

Area residents interested in seeing these talented young performers in person, are invited to attend a free community concert featuring Staccato on Thursday, May 16th at 7pm at the Historic Owen Theatre in downtown Branson. There is no charge for admission, but as seating is limited to 200, advance online reservations are available at or by calling the Branson Regional Arts Council at 417-336-4255.


Auditions for the 2019-2020 cast of Staccato will be held in July at the Historic Owen Theatre. Interested students are asked to watch the Branson Regional Arts Council Facebook page, or official website,, for upcoming information.

#BransonArts #FestivalDisney

Rehearsals, set construction, and costuming is well underway for the upcoming Branson Regional Arts Council musical production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at the Historic Owen Theatre.

“This is our largest theatrical production ever, and due to the popularity of this show, there will be 10 performances between February 21st and March 3rd,” said Executive Director of the Branson Regional Arts Council, Jim Barber. “Tickets are selling quickly, and we anticipate that most shows will sell out. Therefore, advance seat reservations are recommended by visiting, or by calling the Historic Owen Theatre at 417-336-4255.” added Barber.


“A Tale As Old As Time,” the Academy Award-winning Disney film comes to life at the Historic Owen Theatre in this romantic and beloved take on the classic fairytale. The musical story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed into his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.

The BRAC production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast  is the first of ten major theatrical events in their 2019 season. This show features nearly 50 cast members, with several principal actors sharing roles during the two week run as an alternating Purple and Gold Cast.

Principal actors in the Purple Cast include: Perry Harper (Beast/Prince Adam), Brenna Kellem (Belle), Jacob Estes (Gaston), Alex Harris  (Lumiere/Monsieur D’Arque) and Kristen Dasto (Babette).

Principal actors in the Gold Cast include: Perry Harper (Beast/Prince Adam), Kellsey Bradley (Belle), Kyle Bradley (Gaston), Jordan Alexander-Holt (Lumiere/Monsieur D’argue) and Sarah Sutherland (Babette).

Additional cast members in all performances include: Jen Frost (Mrs. Potts – 1st week), Sarah Williams (Mrs. Potts – 2nd week), David Burgio (LeFou), Sean Neil Myers (Maurice), Robert Montgomery (Cogsworth), Liam Hill (Chip/Young Price), Casey Chambers (Madame de la Grand Bouche), Emily Alphin (Silly Girl), Velvet Case (Silly Girl), Dani Groff (Silly Girl), and Mesa Mitchell (Enchantress/Ensemble).

Ensemble cast members in all performances include: Sylvie BarbourHaley Bertrand, Seanna Bounds, Selah Bounds, Shamarah Bounds, Sofe Bounds, Julie Brinkman, Cassandra CarterSophie Douglas, Alexis Fischer, Jael Frost, Pace GillmanHallie Groff, Brynleigh Hill, Kaitlyn Jenanian, Jonathan Kirkland, Mindy Law, Cameron Morrison, Jake Musser, Julie Musser, Laurie Payne, Dylan Pratt, Sydney Pride, Megan Rodgers, Destiny Taylor, and Bekah Williams.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Performance Schedule:

  • Feb 21 (Thursday) – 7pm Purple Cast
  • Feb 22 (Friday) – 7pm Gold Cast
  • Feb 23 (Saturday) – 2pm Purple Cast
  • Feb 23 (Saturday) – 7pm Gold Cast
  • Feb 24 (Sunday) – 2pm Purple Cast
  • Feb 28 (Thursday) – 7pm – Gold Cast
  • March 1 (Friday) – 7pm – Purple Cast
  • March 2 (Saturday) – 2pm – Gold Cast
  • March 2 (Saturday) – 7pm – Purple Cast
  • March 3 (Sunday) – 2pm – Gold Cast

Upcoming musicals and plays at the Historic Owen Theatre include: Into The Woods (April 4-15), Chicago (May 2-5), Shrek The Musical Jr. (June 6-9), 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (July 18-21), Forte presents Shakespeare’s Hamlet (July 28 – Aug 5), Steele Magnolias (Aug 29 – Sept 1), Of Mice & Men (Sept 19 – 23), South Pacific (Oct 31 – Nov 10) ending with a special Christmas production Dec 5 – 15.

Money saving Season Passes are on sale now allowing patrons to select anywhere from 4 to 10 2019 season productions. For more information and prices visit