One Hit Wonders help Pen High music

Rann Berry's One Hit Wonders comes to the Cleland Theatre Dec. 6 with a percentage of the ticket sales going to the Pen

One hit wonders come and go in the music industry, but they have a lasting power that stays in our collective hearts and minds years later.

Rann Berry’s One Hit Wonders will bring some of the best one-off hits from years past to the Cleland Theatre on Dec. 6 with a portion of the proceeds going towards the music program at Pen High.

The 18 students that make up the Pen High senior jazz band led by instructor Justin Glibbery are opening the show with a 20-minute set giving the students an opportunity to see behind the scenes and learn what goes into a production like this one.

Glibbery is also the music director for the One Hit Wonders, making show night a busy one for him.

He said fundraising efforts like this one help pick up the slack in covering the costs associated with running the band and provide an overall better experience for students.

“There is a lot of gaps that are left. There are some extracurricular things that we do that are not covered by the school,” Glibbery said.

Funds will help subsidize trip costs, instrument repairs and purchases and festival entries for the music program.

“Having the kids play music is the best way to fundraise money, that’s why I like this show,” Glibbery said.

The experience for the students is also one that Glibbery hopes will instill a sense of professionalism.

“As a musician, when you go out into the world and you get paid for it, you’ve got to deliver the goods,” Glibbery said. “Sometimes kids don’t think like that and this is an opportunity for them to realize this is the way things work out in the real world.”

One Hit Wonders creator, producer and performer Rann Berry agrees that the show is a good way for students to get a peak into the world of professional music.

“It gives the students an opportunity to play in front of a large crowd, a full theatre crowd,” said Berry.

Nearly 30 Pen High students will also be helping out with everything from setup and lighting to promotion and audio setup.

“They are involved to learn about what it is like to put on a fairly big show, so it’s really great experience for them,” Berry said. “It’s hands-on experience with a live, Vegas-style show.”

The performance, which features classic tunes, go-go dancers and an eight-piece band, has expanded with new songs and set changes splitting the show into two acts from the original one.

“The show is different from last year, there’s no doubt about that,” Berry said.

New to the show is Richard Harris’ MacArthur Park, which has been revamped from previous performances and received a great responses from audiences so far, including some standing ovations,  said Berry.

“We’ve really improved it. It is a huge song to tackle. I’ve never in my life seen a band play it,” said Berry.

One Hit Wonders has been garnering praise since its debut three years ago in Kelowna and is about to make a large leap from a Vegas-style show to an actual Vegas show.

“I was in Las Vegas a month ago talking to promoters and it definitely looks like we are going to be bringing the show down to Vegas,”

Tickets are $29 and are available at the Penticton Community Centre front desk, or by phone at 250-490-2426.