(ADAM VOGLER) [Order this photo]
"We put huge amounts of responsibility and expectations on these kids and for 20 years they have never disappointed me," Dumey said.
The 150 students are part of Dumey's stage choir class. According to Dumey, choral singing is emphasized in the first semester, but the second semester is used to prepare the students for the performance.
The scripts used for the production are the actual scripts of the Broadway musical. Dumey said their performance will be the same "Annie" audiences would expect to see on the Muny or Fox Theatre stages in St. Louis.
"Rather than just studying for a Broadway show, they actually do a Broadway show," Dumey said. "It is an opportunity for them to feel for themselves what this is all about."
Seventh-grader Elizabeth Orr plays the lead role of Annie in the musical. Her interest in acting and singing motivated her to enroll in Dumey's class. As Annie, Orr said she spends a lot of time on stage.
"It is amazing to be on stage and interact with everyone," Orr said.
In the future, Orr said she wants to pursue her love of acting and singing by majoring in theater and maybe being on Broadway.
Seventh-grader Nia Johnson also enrolled in the stage choir class because of her love of performing. In the musical she plays the part of Ruby, one of the orphans.
"I love singing and performing in front of people," Johnson said. "It is fun to be in a class with people who enjoy the same thing."
She said while rehearsals can be tiring, it is worth it in the end.
"We are all excited for the play," Johnson said. "All of our hard work will pay off."
Kasarah Chambrelian plays the part of Miss Hannigan in the performance. She said it was getting to act crazy that she enjoys most about her part.
"I am a goofy person," Chambrelian said.
She enjoys acting and singing and said the rehearsals have been fun because they are productive.
Dumey said 20 years of quality performances have affected his students.
"There is a passion to be in the project," Dumey said. "They bring a lot of pride because they want to keep it up."
Dumey has a crew of several volunteers that help make these productions possible.
This crew of volunteers includes Mimi Higgins, who is in charge of props and special effects. For "Annie," Higgins has created half of a Christmas tree for the Radio City Music Hall Scene. She has been helping Dumey for a number of years. Dumey said she brings energy and experience into the productions.
"There are eight or nine people like her giving that energy," Dumey said.
Pat Renard has created costumes for Dumey's productions for 20 years. Before retiring 10 years ago, Renard was a home economics teacher at the junior high. With the help of a crew of 10 volunteers, Renard spends countless hours measuring students and designing, sewing and labeling their costumes. She said it is these students who keep her coming back.
Dennis Wilson, an art teacher at the junior high, is in charge of creating the set and incorporates the help of his art students. Dumey said their sets rival those of high school productions, and in some cases small college productions.
Up until this year, Dumey's father, Ralph, was instrumental in creating the carpentry aspects of the productions. However, he passed away in April at the age of 84. According to Dumey, remembering his father will make this show very special.
"We miss dad, but his legacy goes on," Dumey said.
Dumey said that since the passing of his father, he has received a tsunami of volunteer support from the community.
Tickets for the performance are $8 for students and faculty and $10 for general admission at the door.