Hoping to help children less fortunate than themselves, a group of Williamsport Area High School students will hold "Hear My Song: A Musical Revue," at Curtin Middle School, 85 Eldred St., 7 p.m. Friday with donations going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The performance will be the third, and final, for Zane Wagner, senior and director of the show, who started the benefit show as a sophomore.
"I was asked to be in a benefit the summer before my sophomore year. I didn't know a lot about Make-A-Wish," Wagner explained about how he started it.
After being in the small production, he immediately began asking friends if they would be interested in doing a benefit show of their own.
"It was one of those things that I knew right away, 'I want to do that,' " he remembered.
The shows are a collection of songs from a variety of stage performances. This year's performance will include songs from "Guys and Dolls" and "Wicked."
IF YOU GO
WHAT: "Hear My Song: A Musical Review"
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Curtin Middle School, 85 Eldred St.
COST: Free, donations will be accepted
The past two years, the shows have raised about $3,500 for the foundation.
Through the years of performing, Wagner said the cast also has formed a relationship with a child who has benefited from Make-A-Wish.
"We just love working with him," he said.
He added that being able to see the glow on the child's face makes it all worth it.
"It's really great to be able to put a face with what we're helping," Wagner said. "They're kids. They could potentially lose their childhood ... It's found a place in our hearts."
Work on the production begins each year in August as Wagner chooses the main songs. The cast then meets once a week to practice in Wagner's living room.
For the past week though, the group's been practicing everyday at Curtin in preparation for the show.
And as a senior, Wagner has come to the realization that the show will be his last as he'll graduate in the spring.
"We want to have the most attendance (and) raise the most money," he said of his last show.
Wagner already has had discussions with some of the other seniors on the cast about having a benefit show after their freshman years of college but hopes the yearly one that he created among Williamsport students doesn't fade away.
"I really hope it continues," he said.
Wagner added that he appreciated all of the support the show has received throughout the years. He said the school's auditorium nearly has been packed every year.
Seeing students help others, Wagner hopes it will show the community not all high schoolers are "hoodlums." He said he understands there's sometimes a stereotype and hopes to break it.
"Kids aren't as ignorant as you think," he said. "We do know the issues."
There is no admission fee, but donations will be accepted. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
And Wagner knows that the group will "sound awesome."
"It will be good," he said. "It will be worth (the audience's) time."