According to Hannah Rodgers, chairman of the board of producers for the show, Campus Lights is the longest running completely student produced musical in the South.
“It was started in 1937 by the Gamma Delta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia,” she said. “When the men left to fight in World War II, the ladies of the Iota Beta chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota stepped in during their leave. When the guys returned the two groups joined to produce Campus Lights, and we have continued the joint effort until today.”
Every year Murray State’s own chapters of Sigma Alpha Iota and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia puts on a different production. Previous productions have included, “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Godspell,” “Fame” and “The Music Man.”
This year the production is “Titanic: The Musical.”
“There was a vote taken between Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Sigma Alpha Iota members,” Chase Harris, freshman from Paducah, Ky., said. “They decided this for a few reasons. One of the main reasons was because it has been a century since the tragedy of the Titanic.”
The performance includes both music and a tragic storyline that is not quite the same familiar story as the famous film.
“The show features amazing vocal and instrumental music, a strong historical plot, and characters who were actually passengers or crewmembers on the Titanic,” Rodgers said.
There are many people involved with the Campus Lights production. According to Rodgers, there are 43 members in the cast, 21 members in the orchestra, 22 administrative personnel and many members in the crew.
“Campus Lights is a completely student ran production,” Harris said. “It is also one of the oldest productions on campus.”
The funds raised from Campus Lights will assist one lucky incoming student’s education.
“The funds are used for music scholarships and to benefit the community,” Harris said.
“We provide a $2,000 four-year scholarship to an incoming freshman music major,” Rodgers said. “Half of the ticket price will go toward production costs and the other half will go into the scholarship foundation.”
An alumni banquet will be held following Saturday night’s alumni performance for Sigma Alpha Iota, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Campus Lights alumni along with the Murray State Music Department faculty.
The opening performance was Thursday but the show continues at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday in Lovett Auditorium. Admission is $10 for adults 12 and older and $7 for Murray State students.