Falmouth students have a 'Maine adventure' in Renys commercial

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FALMOUTH — A group of fourth- and fifth- graders at Falmouth Elementary School are featured in an upcoming TV spot for Renys, the Newcastle-based chain of discount department stores known for its homespun commercials. 

Rebecca Hanaburgh, the grade 3-5 music teacher at the school, said the commercial will feature a choral group of about 35 students, who auditioned to be part of the FES Small Group at the start of the academic year.

She said that parent Lynn McLain is a friend of David Melville, who produces the Renys commercials. He asked McLain if her two children, one in fifth grade and one in third, would like to be in a commercial for the store.

Then Melville asked Hanaburgh if she would like to have even more students involved.

“Of course, I said yes,” she said this week. The commercial was filmed at the elementary school on Feb. 28 and will be aired over the next month.

But Hanaburgh also noted that, “Any or all of (the commercials) may pop back up during the course of the year.”

The students had to learn the Renys jingle, which includes the tag line, “Renys, a Maine adventure.” The students actually taped several spots and “each spot was taped several times, with minor adjustments being made along the way,” Hanaburgh said.

“The students had to stand very still at both the beginning and end of each spot, which is harder than it sounds, especially if you’re a kid,” she said. “They did a great job with flexibility, listening to directions and being respectful and responsible. I couldn’t have been prouder of them.”

Hanaburgh also said that near the end of the taping “there was an unexpected opportunity to have a few students record solos,” in addition to a quintet of voices.

She said the commercial was a great opportunity for her students to gain real-world experience, showcase their musical ability, and make a lasting and positive memory.

“Maybe someone in the group will (also) be inspired to be a producer like David, or become a professional musician,” she said. And although it was a good learning experience, Hanaburgh also freely admitted “it was exciting and fun,” too.

What she hopes her students got out of participating is the understanding that “they can achieve awesome things with the right mindset, skills and actions.”

Hanaburgh also said that the “Falmouth community will be thrilled to see and hear the children on TV or radio.” And she thanked residents for their support of the arts in the schools.

Anyone who would like to see a performance of the full elementary school chorus, as well as the FES Small Group, is invited to attend a concert at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21, in the elementary school gym.

“I would love (for everyone) to attend,” Hanaburgh said.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KirishCollins.

Members of the Small Group chorus at Falmouth Elementary School will be featured in an upcoming TV commercial for Renys department stores. Pictured with the students is David Melville, who produces the commercials.

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