The McLean High School Choral Society, Threatened by Budget Cuts, Stages What May Be its Last Production-‘The Secret Garden’-This Thursday Through Sunday

The McLean High School Choral Society (MCS) stages the enchanting musical The Secret Garden. Led by Performing Arts Department head, Linda Martin, the group brings this captivating classic of forgiveness and renewal to the community. The Secret Garden runs May 29th through June 1st. Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m., finishing with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.  Performances are in McLean’s Burks Auditorium with advance tickets available at

Archibald Craven (Alex Stone) and Mary Lennox (Grace Myers).
Archibald Craven (Alex Stone) and Mary Lennox (Grace Myers).

This charming classic of children’s literature is re-imagined in brilliant musical style by composer Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. Orphaned in India, 11 year-old Mary Lennox returns to Yorkshire to live with her embittered, reclusive uncle Archibald and his invalid son Colin. The estate’s many wonders include a magic garden which beckons the children with haunting melodies and the “Dreamers,”spirits from Mary’s past who guide her through her new life. The show debuted on Broadway in 1991 to seven Tony nominations and three awards, including Best Book of a Musical.

The choral program of McLean High School is among the first in Fairfax County to feel the effect of recent budget constraints. The program’s most advanced choir, Madrigals, is currently scheduled to not be offered as separate class in the 2014-2015 school year. Madrigals, an auditioned mixed voice chamber ensemble, has a 50 year tradition of excellence. At a recent competition in New York City, Madrigals received a Gold rating, earning them the right to perform in the Elite Performance Series Festival at Carnegie Hall.  For complete information, visit

Featured in this production, Grace Myers and Jennifer Rose appear as Annie Lennox.  The cast also features many performers from McLean Theatre Company’s recent performance of Catch Me If You Can including Alex Stone (Archibald Craven), Nancy Pruett and Lily Lord (Lily Craven), Matt Lucero (Neville Craven), Jack Posey (Dickon),  Rachel Lawhead (Martha), and Jamie Wertz (Colin Craven). Meg Hashem also appears as Martha.

The cast of 'The Secret Garden': Nora Logston, Nancy Pruett, Alex Stone, Graceann Myers, Latt Lucero, and Rachel Lawhead.
The cast of ‘The Secret Garden’: Nora Logston, Nancy Pruett, Alex Stone, Graceann Myers, Latt Lucero, and Rachel Lawhead.
Thursday evening features Jennifer Rose, Meg Hashem & Lily Lord.
Friday evening features Jennifer Rose, Meg Hashem & Nancy Pruett.
Saturday evening features Grace Myers, Rachel Lawhead & Lily Lord.
Sunday afternoon features Grace Myers, Rachel Lawhead & Nancy Pruett
playing Grace, Martha & Lily respectively.

The Secret Garden plays May 29th – June 1st, Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m. with one Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Performances are in McLean’s Burks Auditorium-1633 Davidson Road, in McLean, Virginia. Tickets are available online.

The Secret Garden is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.


From McLean High School Principal Ellen T. Reilly and Choral Director Linda Martin:

Dear McLean Community,

We write today to inform you of good news regarding the status of our choral department program. Although it seemed inevitable that the program would have to be reduced due to the current budget challenges facing FCPS, we have, through creative problem solving and input from the community, come up with a plan that we believe will ensure the program continues to thrive and be a vital part of the McLean experience. The program will remain the same in the 2014-15 academic year with the exception of moving the Madrigal class into the school day. There will be a separate Women’s Chorus, Men’s Chorus, and Advanced Women’s Chorus (Armonia); we will also offer Music Theory and AP Music Theory. This solution helps the school system with its staffing issues, while preserving the long tradition of choral groups at McLean High School. We would like to thank the community of parents, students, and faculty that have worked with us to resolve the scheduling issues.

We remain committed to providing a well-rounded education for all McLean High School students.


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