McKendree Alumni & Friends Return for Special Musical Event

‘Singin’ & Swingin’ at the Hett’

Lebanon, Ill. — A distinguished group of McKendree University alumni and friends will gather onstage at the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts on Friday, June 28, for an outstanding evening of musical entertainment. “Singin’ & Swingin’ at the Hett” will begin at 7 p.m.

The six alumni are Anna McNeely, Charles Rann, Richard Boyd, Susan Constance, Edward (Ted) Cook and Mark Gifford. McNeely will be accompanied by pianist Philip Fortenberry. They will be joined by local entrepreneur Ellen Leaf-Moore and local musical personality Norbert Krausz.

McNeely originated the role of Jennyanydotts in the long-running Broadway production of “Cats.” She was part of the cast of the original “Beauty and the Beast.” She appeared in “Gypsy” with Tyne Daly on Broadway and was in the TV cast with Bette Midler. Her accompanist, the talented and renowned Philip Fortenberry, is currently the music director and pianist for the Las Vegas spectacular “Jersey Boys.”

Rann is well known in the area as a former music educator and frequent soloist. Many may remember him as Emile De Becque in the 1974 Looking Glass Playhouse production of “South Pacific,” the theater’s first full-length musical production.

The musical evening will include songs of the musical stage, standards from the American songbook, inspirational tunes and old favorites. Pianist Mark Gifford will perform before the show. Tickets are $25 each and available at The Hett box office,

A local programming committee, led by McKendree alumna Shirley A. Schaefer, is organizing the event. She is joined by Boyd, Krausz and Susan Meister. The event is a benefit for the ministries of Lebanon First United Methodist Church.

The Russel E. and Fern M. Hettenhausen Center for the Arts—“The Hett”—is Southern Illinois’ premier performing arts venue, presenting world class dance, drama, classical music and jazz. The 488-seat auditorium is located on the McKendree University campus in Lebanon, Illinois, 25 miles from downtown St. Louis.

For more information, contact Meister at (618) 537-6622,