Many of the Chattanooga State music faculty perform in the southeast, including with the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Jennifer Arbogast, an assistant professor of music, continues that tradition with a musical performance as Anna in “The King and I” at Signal Mountain Playhouse, which runs through July 26.
Appearing alongside Dr. Arbogast is one of her students, vocal performance major Kimberlin Lacy. “Perhaps the most wonderful part of this show has been the opportunity to share this experience with Kimberlin,” shares Dr. Arbogast, “she has blossomed into a lovely young performer who has carried herself with incredible professionalism throughout the process.”
Dr. Arbogast describes the whole team at Signal Mountain Playhouse as “fantastic.” She calls Allan Ledford her “dream director” and was completely sold on the experience when she found out that he would be directing. Besides working with other ChattState performers, Dr. Arbogast has had the chance to work opposite of Seth Carico, a professional opera singer under contract with Deutsche Opera Berlin. “I’ve learned a lot from watching him work and working with him, and it’s been an inspiration for me as an artist to continue to sharpen my own skills,” says Dr. Arbogast.
Ms. Lacy adds, “It has been great working with Mr. Ledford. He is a wonderfully constructive critic who has helped me really develop ‘Tuptim,’ to make the character my own. With such amazing energy, the cast and crew are a pure joy to work alongside.”
Dr. Arbogast teaches voice, music appreciation, and musical theatre at Chattanooga State. She holds a doctor of arts degree in vocal performance from Ball State University, where she studied with internationally acclaimed soprano, Dr. Mei Zhong. In addition to Signal Mountain Playhouse, she has performed with the Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga, Artisti Affamati, and Chattanooga State. Dr. Arbogast has musically directed more than dozen shows, including “Xanadu,” “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” and “Avenue Q.”
Having been recommended to Chattanooga State’s music program by her high school choir director, Ms. Lacy successfully auditioned for a music scholarship. She begins her final year at Chattanooga State this fall. Darrin Hassevoort, dean of Humanities and Fine Arts, calls Ms. Lacy, “a rising star.”
Ms. Lacy studies voice with Dr. Arbogast, performs as a member of the Concert Choir under the direction of Dean Hassevoort, and also appears in opera theatre and musical theatre productions. Most recently at Chattanooga State, she was seen as Yum-Yum in “The Mikado,” Olive Ostrovsky in “25th Annual…Spelling Bee,” Calliope in “Xanadu,” and was in the ensemble of “Nutcracker Christmas Carol” through Chattanooga State’s Repertory Theatre. Additionally, she was a member of the 2014 Senior Ensemble at Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga, where she played Lady Caroline in “Dear Brutus” and was in the ensemble of “Jekyll and Hyde.”
The Chattanooga State music department provides a comprehensive program for a student’s first two years. It is designed to meet the educational requirements of students whether they are preparing to earn a music degree, interested in private instruction for a specific instrument, or seeking to fulfill general education credits. Dean Hassevoort shares that some of their recent graduates have attended and graduated from Bryan College, Lee University, UTC, Radford University in Virginia, and the prestigious Peabody Conservatory housed at John Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland.
For more information about Chattanooga State’s music program and scholarship opportunities, please call 697-3383 or visit http://chattanoogastate.edu/humanities-fine-arts/theatre-arts.