Feature Story

‘Matchgirl’ Provides Striking Opportunity for OWU Department of Music

December 11, 2015 – by Billie Paulus '16

Students to Perform Dec. 11-12 in Columbus Dance Theatre Production

Ohio Wesleyan University’s Department of Music will participate in Columbus Dance Theatre’s Dec. 11-12 production of “Matchgirl.”

The production artfully adapts the “The Little Match Girl” by Hans Christian Anderson with a cast of pre-professional and professional dancers as well as a live orchestra and choir.

Jason Hiester, associate professor of music, as maestro. 

Jason Hiester, associate professor of music, has served as maestro for the production since 2013, and he brings an ensemble of OWU students along for the incredible chance to perform with Columbus Dance Theatre. The ensemble includes music majors looking for experiences such as this in the performance realm.

Catie Kocian ’18, an applied vocal music and international studies double major, says, “ ‘Matchgirl’ is a special experience, and I feel blessed to be part of it.”

McCall Gorbach-Foster ’16, an applied vocal music and art history double major, adds, “It’s a great opportunity to get involved in the professional art scene.”

Rachel Ballitch ’18, a piano performance and vocal performance double major, says she’s excited that OWU is able to provide this caliber of experience for undergraduate students. “If it weren’t for Dr. Hiester and the reputation of Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Music, we wouldn’t have this opportunity.”

Performances will be held at the Lincoln Theatre in downtown Columbus. Show times are 8 p.m. Dec. 11 and 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 12.

OWU students have been singing for “Matchgirl” since Hiester began as maestro for the production.

Abby Helbling ’16, a music education major, is one of these students. “The final stages of rehearsal are always my favorite,” she says, “because these are the moments when all the forces come together to put on an amazing show.”

Several OWU alumni are joining the ensemble for this year’s performance. Music education major Meg Linebaugh ’15 says, “It is wonderful to once again work with musicians and singers from OWU as well as the beautiful CDT dancers, and refreshing to return to this amazing music and beautiful show.”

Music majors have been singing for “Matchgirl” since faculty member Jason Hiester began as maestro for the production in 2013.

The choir will perform John Rutter’s “Magnificat” as the soundtrack to the second act of “Matchgirl,” providing the celestial music that Columbus Dance Theatre director Tim Veach has imagined and making “Matchgirl” a Columbus holiday tradition not to be missed.

 Performances will be held at the Lincoln Theatre in downtown Columbus. Show times are 8 p.m. Dec. 11 and 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 12. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the box office.