"The Hills Are Alive" - Fundraiser Concert for Worcester Education Development Foundation
03 April 2008

Worcester Telegram
By Richard Duckett
08 January 2008

Julie Andrews to participate in fundraiser for school -- more info here

‘The Hills Are Alive’ draws star of stage and screen

A special guest will be listening to the sound of music as students from Worcester public schools perform at Mechanics Hall April 3.

Julie Andrews has agreed to attend the concert — appropriately titled “The Hills Are Alive” — which is a fundraiser for the Worcester Educational Development Foundation.

Andrews will introduce the concert and will be the guest at a pre-show reception. The show will feature singers, dancers, bands and an orchestra from Worcester public schools.

“We’re beyond thrilled; we’re ecstatic that someone as well-known as Julie Andrews has committed herself to furthering our students’ education,” said Frances Arena, manager of curriculum management and development for the Worcester public schools and a board member of the foundation. The sole purpose of the nonprofit foundation is to support Worcester public schools.

Andrews, 72, has had a starred career on the stage (including “My Fair Lady” and “Camelot”) and screen. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress for “Mary Poppins” in 1964, and a year later played Maria von Trapp in the movie version of “The Sound of Music.”

In 1997, what should have been routine surgery to remove benign nodules damaged her throat to the point that Andrews (who had a rare four-octave coloratura soprano singing voice) can no longer sing.

She has recently been working on her autobiography, which will be published soon.

Arena said sheer persistence on the part of Janet Mathieu, community outreach specialist for Worcester public schools and a foundation volunteer, led to Andrews agreeing to come to the concert. Mathieu placed many calls to Andrews’ manager, Arena said.

But Andrews proved perfectly amenable. “She (Andrews) really wants to support the arts,” Arena said.

The April 3 concert is tentatively scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Further details will be announced shortly, Arena said. For more information, call (508) 799-3479.

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