Macy's grant brings popular holiday musical to McLean Co. Middle School | Arts & Culture
In celebration of the fifth 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 including McLean County Middle School.
“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. McLean County Middle School 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 Sunday, Dec. 16 at 3:00 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 17th at 7:00 p.m. All performances will take place in the Gymnasium.
Admission is $3.00 for adults, $1.00 for students and 3 and under get in free.
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. The McLean County Middle School 7th and 8th grade Choir under the direction of Debbie Howard 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 an exciting new addition to Macy’s "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.
“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).”