Arts & Entertainment

Mastersingers to mix music, laughs at fundraiser

The Mid-Columbia Mastersingers will mix music with humor at their annual fundraiser April 23 at the Red Lion Hotel in Pasco.

Besides all the usual fare -- food, desserts, wine and good cheer -- they will perform The True Story of Cinderella, a comic oratorio. The fundraiser starts at 6:30 p.m. with music to begin at 8 p.m.

The True Story of Cinderella was written by composer Warren Martin, a former theory and composition professor at Westminster Choir College in New Jersey.

The presentation will have 12 Mid-Columbia Mastersingers seated at the edge of a stage, standing only when it is their time to sing.

Then featured singers in character roles are Mary Lou Gnoza as the ugly stepmother; Lezlee Flagg as the Queen; Dick Gordon as the King; Mindy Sparks as Cinderella; Sam Purvine as the Prince; Kate Blackman and Mitzi Lundberg as the ugly stepsisters; Will Shaw as the Herald; Robert Hanson, Tyrell Wilde and Bob Watrous as the Hermits; Molly Holleran as the fairy godmother; and Mastersingers Conductor Justin Raffa. Sheila Zilar-Gephart will play piano.

There is no staging and the singers sitting on the stage edge don't interact directly with the group of characters on the stage acting out their musical roles. All this adds to the humor of the presentation, Raffa explained.

"There are spoken narratives between the songs that I will read," Raffa said.

"The piece was written in 1955 so some of the language is dated and the storyline a bit hokey at times, but that's part of its charm."

The fundraiser also includes a silent auction. Acting as the emcee for the event will be Miss Tri-Cities Jerrica Fowler. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased via e-mail at or by calling 460-1766.