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Sept. 28, 2011 

Contact Rick Walters at 608-796-3793 or 


LA CROSSE, Wis. –Viterbo University will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Fine Arts Center with the first musical performed in 1971, The Sound of Music, Friday, Oct. 14–Sunday, Oct. 16 in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre. 

Broadway star and Viterbo alumna Linda Balgord ’82 returns to her alma mater to play Mother Abbess in this production of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that tells the uplifting story of Maria, the young postulant who wins the heart of the von Trapp family during pre-World War Two Austria. It features famous musical numbers such as My Favorite Things, Edelweiss, and Do-Re-Mi. It is a timeless classic that the whole family will enjoy. 

The Sound of Music is a piece that everyone loves, and it is a fitting tribute to the Franciscan Sisters and their legacy and love of the arts and their work to make the Fine Arts Center a reality,” said Rick Walters, chair of the Viterbo theatre & music theatre departments and director of the production. 

The production is a huge piece, with 11 different settings and more than 20 musical numbers, Walters said. It stars Sarah Larson as Maria and Will Leonard as Captain von Trapp. Faculty members Holly Saunders and Nikki Balsamo are the music director and choreographer, respectively. The assistant music director is student John Dobratz, with students Joey Miller and Molly Kraft also assisting. 

“It is really a joyful piece to work on,” said Rick Walters, chair of the Viterbo theatre department and director of the production. “It’s hard not to smile when you hear Do-Re-Mi. The musical is a celebration of life, it’s about reaching out and struggling for your dreams and overcoming adversity.” 

This performance is part of Viterbo’s Bright Star Season and is sponsored by Gundersen Lutheran and by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board, with funds from the State of Wisconsin. Tickets are $18 for lower balcony and $15 for upper balcony seating. For more information, contact the Viterbo box office at 608-796-3100 or visit 



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