Marshall's middle school wants new auditorium curtains for Christmas

Sunday, December 4, 2011
Local pastor and event coordinator Randy Shannon hopes to raise enough money to add needed curtains to Bueker Middle School's auditorium stage. (Eric Crump ~ Democrat-News)

MARSHALL, Mo. -- Shopping for friends and relatives is challenging enough, but what do you get for the auditorium on your Christmas list?

One local venue has a brief wish list: new curtains.

According to local minister and concert organizer Randy Shannon, the idea of getting new curtains for the Harold Lickey Auditorium at Bueker Middle School was born when he and a group of volunteers hosted the national tour of Christian artists Mark Schultz and 33 Miles at the school in October.

"Bueker Middle School auditorium is the only venue we have to host special events like this," Shannon said. "It seems that as a community we should do what we can to make it as functional as possible."

Shannon said when he asked Kevin Lines, the orchestra teacher for Marshall public schools and director of community music organizations, what could be done to make the stage space more useful, he had a one-word solution: curtains.

Several years ago the front curtain was removed due to age and deterioration, and the black masking curtains 12 feet from the back wall were replaced with new ones.

Unfortunately, the funds ran out before the curtain job could be completed, Shannon said. The stage still does not have a front curtain or a rear masking curtain at the back wall, which would allow the stage space to be expanded 12 feet to suit larger music groups was also cut from the plans.

Working in conjunction with Lines and the Marshall public schools, Shannon consulted Associated Theatrical Contractors in Kansas City and discovered that the curtain job could be finished for just under $15,000.

The top-priority -- providing the rear masking to enlarge the stage space -- would only cost about $5,000 of that total amount.

"It is our hope that we can at least raise the amount needed to do the rear curtain," Shannon said. "John Raines, who came up with this idea in the beginning, has obtained permission of the Marshall Public Education Foundation to use their organization as the funnel for which tax-deductible gifts for this purpose may be raised."

Shannon said he hopes that the funds can be raised before next year's 50th anniversary of the Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra.

"We constantly hear it said that 'Marshall is music,'" Shannon said, "and rightly so. We have so many musical treasures in this town: the Municipal Band, the Philharmonic, the Marshall Community Chorus and outstanding high school and college groups. Many people will use and benefit from these curtains."

Donations for the cause may be made to the Marshall Public Education Foundation, 1000 S. Miami Ave., Marshall, MO 65340. Checks should be marked "curtains" on the memo line.

For information, call Shannon at 660-886-2402.

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