By LAURA HAMMACK, guest columnist

Truth be told: One of my great dreams in life was (and, let’s be honest, still is) to star and sing in a Broadway musical.

Sadly, I inherited my father’s ability to carry a tune. To illustrate this, when I was growing up and participating in our church choir, our choir director asked me to turn down the volume. I’m not kidding, I was that bad.

With this sincere lack of talent, my dreams of performing in New York City were never realized.

I share with you this great skill deficit because even though I may have the worst singing voice in the county, I absolutely love the experience of witnessing the performance of a musical. Growing up, my mother was a huge fan of this genre and made sure that my sister and I were exposed to all of the great show tune soundtracks.

One of those soundtracks, for which I learned every word of every song, was the musical, “Annie.”

When I first connected with “Doc” Godfrey last July, one of the first questions I asked her was what the spring musical was going to be. When she replied with “Annie,” I couldn’t have been more excited.

“Annie” will be performed by our Brown County High School Theater Department on April 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 at 7 p.m. and April 9 at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of Brown County High School.

This performance promises to be one that can’t be missed. Doc has collected a group of students for her cast that are composed of students from the Brown County Intermediate School (her youngest actor is a fifth-grader) through seniors at Brown County High School. The performers are currently in a furious flurry of rehearsals where they are practicing their singing and dancing while the tech crews are building and painting sets in anticipation of opening night.

I was shocked to learn that this performance includes 90 to 100 students between cast, crew and the student portion of the pit band. That is a significant number.

Being involved in theater makes a substantial impact on the lives of the students who participate. There is no question that engagement in theater is evidenced to show a positive impact on student achievement in the classroom. Students who participate in drama, music and dance are consistently more proficient in reading, writing and math. As well, student confidence and self-presentation skills are increased when they are able to engage in theater.

We have been told by many graduates that the skills that they learned from the theater program at Brown County High School have translated and contributed to their success in both college and career settings.

We are hoping to inspire community members who may have never had an opportunity to attend a Brown County High School theater presentation to consider attending this very special musical.

“Annie” is a musical that reaches the hearts and minds of all who experience the performance. Our students are extraordinarily talented and have worked extremely hard to give a performance that you won’t soon forget.

Pre-sale tickets (available at Brown County High School) are $5 for all and may be purchased at the door for $6 (students) and $7 (adults).

We can’t wait to welcome you to this incredible performance. I hope to see you there, but if you see me, you might not want to sit near me, as it will be hard to refrain from singing along!

Laura Hammack is superintendent of Brown County schools. She can be reached at 812-988-6601 or lhammack@browncountyschools.com.