Soon the hills and valleys will be alive with the sound of music.
There's a buzz in local and area high schools as they rehearse their spring musicals.
Adding to the anticipation are 13 high school musicals that were entered in the Community Theatre League's "Ray of Light" competition.
Sun-Gazette File Photo
The Community Theater League’s annual “Ray of Light Awards” will be held May 20 at the Community Art Center, 220 W. Fourth St. Students are seen performing at last year’s event.
The year-long adjudication culminates in the formal awards ceremony that will be held May 20 at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St.
Plays (comedies and dramas) usually presented in the fall, with musicals taking center stage in the spring, are entered in the "Ray of Light" ceremony's fourth year of competition
With Jacquie Engel's coordination, adjudicators will travel to high school auditoriums in Lycoming, Union, Northumberland and Clinton counties to evaluate this year's musicals, which total 13 - the highest number since the program's inception.
"Prior to this year, the highest number of participating schools was 10 in the second year," Engel said. "Each year there has been more interest with schools requesting permission to be included, prompting CTL to expand the geographical limits from a 30-to-40-mile radius. Schools now able to participate this year for the first time are Sunbury's Shikellany High School and Middleburg's Midd-West High School."
CTL longtime President Andree P. Phillips echoed Engel's remarks.
"Students are excited to part of the 'Ray of Light' for it gives overdue recognition to excellence in high school theatre," Phillips said. "From the red carpet treatment at the opening, to the gala reception following the ceremony, students and directors really celebrate each other's achievements and develop new friends."
Muncy High School, Williamsport Area High School and St. John Neumann Regional Academy are again submitting musicals in this year's competition, having taken a hiatus.
Another first this year is that the same musical, "Thoroughly Modern Millie," will be presented by two schools and during the same weekend.
With honorariums, scholarships and trophies to be awarded for individual performances and winning high schools, the following are the musical entries in the 2012 "Ray of Light" competition:
"Bye Bye Birdie" - Hughesville High School, March 1, 2 and 3.
"Honk!" - Muncy High School, March 8, 9 and 10.
"Sweeney Todd" - Williamsport Area High School, March 16 and 17.
"Thoroughly Modern Millie" - Loyalsock Township High School, March 29, 30 and 31.
"Pippen" - South Williamsport Area High School, March 29, 30 and 31.
"Once Upon a Mattress" - Jersey Shore High School, March 30, 31 and April 1.
"Godspell" - Montoursville Area High School, March 28, 30 and 31.
"Thoroughly Modern Millie" - Warrior Run, March 29, 30 and 31.
"The Wizard of Oz" - Midd-West Area High School, April 12, 13 and 14.
"Carousel" - Shikellany High School, April 20, 21, 22 and 27, 28 and 29.
"42nd Street" - Milton High School, April 26, 27 and 28.
"The Drowsy Chaparone" - Central Mountain High School, May 3, 4, 5 and 6.
"Footloose" - St. John Neumann Regional Academy, May 4 and 5.