During the weekend of October 11, 12, and 13, COS will celebrate the 50th anniversary of performing arts at the college. Family, friends, alumni, and current students are all invited to participate in the weekend's many events.
On Sept. 10, 1959, day classes began with 67 students enrolled at College of the Siskiyous. The first three buildings - B, H, and S, were still to be furnished, and the Library had only 200 of the 2,000 books ordered. The college grew modestly during the early 1960s. Student growth stimulated the development of new programs and a consequent building program. These were known as “boom years” for two-year colleges. Many of the permanent buildings which are part of the physical character of College of the Siskiyous were constructed prior to the early 1980s. The Women’s Dorm, built in 1968, was one of the first structures in the building surge. That building was followed by the Life Science Building (now home to the Law Enforcement Academy and Football Program) and what is now the Kenneth W. Ford Theater (Performing Arts Building).
The Kenneth W. Ford Theater is where 50 years ago, on Dec. 5, 1969, Oscar Wilde’s witty comedy, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” opened under the direction of James Witherell, one of the Charter Faculty at COS.
During the weekend of October 11, 12, and 13, COS will celebrate the 50th anniversary of performing arts at the college. Family, friends, alumni, and current students are all invited to participate in the weekend’s many events. The highlight of the weekend will be a Reunion Showcase performance on Saturday evening featuring Theatre and music (both choral and instrumental), performances with memories shared by former faculty and much more.
“Dreams are what we make here,” says Nic Fabrio, the Theater Technician. “It isn’t always easy. Sometimes the dreams we share are brought to life through copious amounts of hard work and occasional tears. We’re celebrating 50 years of dreams from so many creative artists who have graced this amazing institution. To quote Harriet Tubman, ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ I believe the COS Performing Arts Department has wholly embodied this spirit for the last 50 years and will continue to do so … forever.”
All alumni and friends of the College are invited to bring their instrument, voice, talents, and participate in an incredible weekend celebrating the performing arts. Even if you have not performed or played in many years, all are welcome back to the stage!
“What an incredible gift to be able to pay tribute to those who have paved the way for so many past, present, and future COS performing artists,” said Dr. Ron Slabbinck, Vocal Music Instructor. “To have the opportunity to bring COS vocal and instrumental alumni on stage to perform with our current ensembles will be a magical moment indeed.”
Anyone who has ever sung or played in a COS ensemble is invited to bring their voice and instrument and be a performing part of the celebration,” said Slabbinck.
“Instrumental Music at COS is excited to welcome back past alumni, future students, and faculty and staff for a combined concert band piece that was performed on the first concert 50 years ago at the COS Ford Theater inaugural concert,” said David Blink, M.M., Instrumental Music Instructor. “This is a great opportunity to catch up with friends, make new connections, and enjoy a weekend celebrating the history of the college.”
“I am humbled by the opportunity to honor those faculty, staff, and students who have been students in the COS Theatre Program over these past 50 years,” said Neil Carpentier-Alting, Theater Instructor. “Alum Floyd VanBuskirk will be leading ‘Improv Games’ during the alumni festivities on Saturday night which are sure to be hilarious and action packed! We will have a moment of silence for those of us who are no longer with us but their impact on the program is still felt. I’m genuinely excited to meet past students, get caught up with all of their life experiences, and revisit our shared history.”
“I’m beyond thrilled to be part of such a passionate and dynamic department that creates such magic both for COS students and the local community and I’m excited to meet and welcome back all those who have been part of the magic that is the music and theatre world here at COS,” said Amy LaMachia, Instructional Support Specialist/Costumer.
For more information call the COS Public Relations and Foundation Office at (530) 938-5373. For disability-related accommodations contact Melissa Green be emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 938-5374. The Weed Campus can also be reaching by calling toll-free 1 (888) 397-4339.
Weekend festivities include:
Friday, Oct. 11
• Meet and Greet with Theater Games and Music rehearsals (6 to 7:30 p.m., Classrooms T4, T2, and T1)
• No Host Alumni Gathering (7:30 to 9 p.m., Mt. Shasta Brewery)
Saturday, Oct. 12
• Various Activities during the Day and Showcase Rehearsals (Time TBA)
• Reunion Showcase – “Fifty Years of Performing Arts” featuring Kirby Shaw as Master of Ceremonies (7 to 9 p.m., Kenneth W. Ford Theater) – free
Sunday, Oct. 13
• Farewell Gathering (10 a.m., Kenneth W. Ford Theater)