By Martha Jacob –
Ripley-Union-Lewis-Huntington High School music teacher Tim Brown was given a go-ahead by the school board to start a very special musical program in the school called ZFX Inc. Flying Effects.
Mr. Brown showed the board a short video of just how the new flying program works.
“I have worked with this company before when I was with the Manchester School,” Brown said, “And believe me, this will be an asset to our school and not a liability.
“When I get this program built, we will have kids coming from all over the county who want to be part of it. I had kids from everywhere coming to Manchester just to be in this program.”
ZFX, Inc. is the complete service provider for Flying Effects. The company handles the rigging or flying harnesses, and covers liability and providers high speed hoists, flying of props, automated systems, stunt gaga, truss equipment mounting, aerial acts, manually operated systems and safety consultation.
“This is something that no one else is doing around us,” Brown said. “Portsmouth West is doing it, Mason County does it, but other than that, kids around here don’t have the opportunity to do something like this. I take my son to Cincinnati to do Boy Choir, or I have to drive him to Portsmouth to be in musicals there.”
He continued, “My goal is to offer something here at RULH that would provide a wonderful opportunity for all our kids, including my own.
“This program is actually set up as a lease. They come in and set it all up and train us. We sign off on it, and they have insurance. Then we train the parents of the children who will be flying so that they cab be back stage if they choose.”
Brown said, “Because this company is from Louisville, KY, it’s a lot cheaper to us. This is the same company that works with Circus tula and they just did the Taylor Swift world tour. Almost anytime you see something on TV where they are flying, it’s usually this company.”
Brown showed the board a short clip from one of Manchester’s musicals which drew huge crowds. He said that for the upcoming ‘Little Mermaid’ musical scheduled for the high school, he would be using the flying wires for various fish to be swimming around as well as for the main character Ariel to appear swimming.
“This is just a whole new element that will be added to our shows that creates a lot of excitement,” Brown said. “We’ve already promoted our show at the fair this year. This is high quality that only Ripley Schools can offer. We’re paying for it and is at no cost to the district and there’s no liability involved.”
The board listened intently and voted immediately to approve the program.
Watch for updates on this exciting new program in the Ripley Bee.