Young performers to deliver musical message

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The sanctuary at Calvary Baptist Church has been converted into a summer camp in two ways.
First, more than 50 kids from ages 6 to 12 have been learning songs and dance routines as part of the church’s fifth annual summer musical camp.
Second, the camp’s production, “The Star Factor,” is set at a summer camp, so a large backdrop featuring a lake and surrounding woods hangs in front of the choir loft.
“The play is sort of like ‘America Idol,’” said Stephanie Spires, drama director for the camp.
“It’s a talent show feel,” said Doug Spires, minister of music at Calvary. “The winner has a chance to be on a reality TV show.”
Their daughter, Abby Spires, 10, said “The Star Factor” has a strong message.
“I like how we all learn to cooperate as one group,” she said, “because we’re all the body of Christ.”
Outside judges were brought in to cast the lead roles, and Tupelo Community Theatre veteran Bobby Geno plays Mr. Bricklebee in the musical, which will be staged for free at 6 p.m. Friday.
Kaylee Heitger, 11, of Mooreville, has been to all five of Calvary’s summer camps. She’s impressed by how it’s grown.
“Now, we have two or three different craft rooms,” she said. “When we do snacks, we have to have a lot more snacks, and the backdrop this year is huge.”
It’s 7-year-old Hayden Eldridge’s first year. In addition to his role as a trumpeter in the musical, he’s enjoyed arts and crafts.
“I got to make two stars out of Play-Doh,” he said, “and a thing I want to write a Bible verse on.”

Summer Show
What: “The Star Factor”

When: 6 p.m. Friday

Where: Calvary Baptist Church sanctuary

Tickets: Free

Information: (662) 842-3338,

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