Spartanburg Methodist College will present “Mr. Scrooge!” a musical adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol on Wednesday, December 2 and Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 7 p.m. in the Gibbs Auditorium of Ellis Hall. Admission is free of charge and the general public is invited to attend.
“Mr. Scrooge!” is written and scored by South Carolina Playwright and SMC Professor, Dr. Lanny Lanford. When Dr. Lanford was a seminary student he was invited to write the lyrics and music for a staged version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. A lifelong fan of Dickens, he jumped at the opportunity, but felt the two and half hour length of the production was too long and the underlying message of the real meaning of Christmas too vague. So he and a fellow seminary student sought to shorten, yet retain the integrity of the story. They gave it a fresh approach and made Dickens the narrator of the production. This version has run continuously in theaters and churches since 1980.
This is Dickens’ story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his encounter with a variety of ghosts who appear to him in hopes of changing him into a nicer, kinder man at Christmas. Dr. Lanford has lightened the story with whimsical and modern lyrics, bringing the Cratchit family, Scrooge, as well as the entire cast to life with words and music that will enlighten and delight us long after the curtain is closed.
Lanford holds a B.A. (with a choral emphasis) from the University of South Carolina; a Master of Church Music degree in theory and composition from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY and returned to South Carolina to complete his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Composition. His compositions have received world-wide attention, his most notable accolade was winning the International Composition Competition for his piece, Les Chevaliers du Tastevin. Written in both French and English, this piece is particularly remarkable in that it was completed in just five days. Another project that garnered major attention for Lanford was his original score for the feature film, More Than Diamonds, which he wrote, performed and recorded. Released in September of 2010, this film (and CD soundtrack) quickly led to Lanford’s current involvement as a freelance film composer. Lanford has recently lent his composing talents to the films PREVENT: Standoff Against Time and The Z Line.
Lanford brings over thirty years of experience in conducting and in higher education teaching to his current position of Professor of Music and Director of the Spartanburg Methodist College Music Program. In addition to teaching a full course load and directing the SMC Singers, Lanford has revitalized the SMC Troubadours, a traveling select choral group that performs a variety of music, primarily in Methodist churches in the Upstate area.