Notre Dame Regional High School

Cape Girardeau, MO

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During his time at Notre Dame, Michael Gummerscheimer was highly involved in the arts- a passion which has extended well past graduation.


 In high school, Gummerscheimer performed in three spring musicals; he was a member of the ensemble in Funny Girl, Captain ‘Big Jim’ Warrington in Little Mary Sunshine, and during his senior year, played the male lead, ‘Julian Marsh,’ in 42nd Street. Aside from stage productions, he involved his talents at the piano, guitar, and even the synthesizer with school performances and within the liturgy.


 A notable performance on the synthesizer was for the pop concert his sophomore year.


 “I would spend time in advance listening to recordings of the performers’ songs, and picking out the sounds,” said Gummerscheimer. “I would record some parts, and some I would play live along with the performers.”


 His senior year, Gummerscheimer said the school band had hit a rough patch: they were down to six people. Each of those students, aside from Gummerscheimer, played a brass instrument. He said they decided to switch it up that year, and turned it into a brass ensemble.


 “So, I learned to play the trombone that year,” said Gummerscheimer, adding yet another instrument to his toolbox.


 Following his graduation, Gummerscheimer attended Mizzou, where he was involved as a musician at the Newman Center on campus. He even wrote a psalm - at the request of their music director - to be played at mass, where it’s still in use.


 “The church allowed me to stay involved with music, and vice versa,” Gummerscheimer said. “[Music] really kept me involved with the church.”


 Wherever Gummersheimer has traveled, his dedication to music ministry has followed. This includes serving as a music leader for retreats, guitarist, cantor, pianist, drummer, and in choir and handbell ensembles in Irving, Texas, the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, and churches in Maryland Heights and Des Peres.    


 Beyond the liturgy, Gummerscheimer has volunteered for many projects within music ministry. He has portrayed Jesus in two mime performances of The Passion in 2000 and 2003, and played the part of ‘Natpthali’ in St. Gabriel Parish’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.


 Gummerscheimer currently works as a manager in technical accounting and financial reporting at Spire, a natural gas facility in St. Louis. He’s looking to take an early retirement at age 55. One reason: he would like to ‘get back into the stage’ in musical theatre. Music composition is also in mind.


 “Once I don’t have to worry about the working thing anymore, I’d like to spend some more time writing music again,” said Gummerscheimer.

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To the average Notre Dame student, Lenny Kuper is a force to be reckoned with. When he utters his catchphrase - “Math is fun, math is easy” - to his students, a resounding bout of nervous laughter follows. You must be sure to tuck in your shirt, belt in place and be perfectly up-to-par with the dress code if you plan to pass or enter his classroom.

At the piano, don’t be mistaken - his attention to detail is just as sharp. Yet many students find that the man who loves mathematics also finds the same joie de vivre in the music room.

Kuper earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from Southeast Missouri State University with a major in mathematics and a minor in music. He completed his M.A.T. in mathematics, and during the start of his teaching career at Notre Dame, also worked as an adjunct instructor in Southeast’s math department. While Kuper would’ve liked to have earned his major in both areas of study, time was of the essence, and he decided that it would be exponentially ‘easier to teach math than music.’

But his 43 years at Notre Dame have allowed him plenty of opportunity to dabble in both.

“Every type of math in the curriculum: I’ve taught it at some point,” Kuper said.

And for almost every spring musical produced, he’s served as a collaborative pianist for rehearsals, and as the pianist in the orchestra pit. Kuper has also accompanied students, ensembles, and choirs for district and state music competitions each year. And, if he finds that a pupil can sing or play an instrument, he doesn’t hesitate to wrap them into the school’s liturgical music.

Kuper said his involvement in academia and the arts has allowed him to experience his students in a different light.

“You get to know them well through teaching. But you see a different dimension of the kids outside of class, be it through Mission Trips, retreats, or the camaraderie of the spring musical,” Kuper said.

In 1993, he directed music for an alumni dinner theatre production of Nunsense, a fundraising event for new curtains in the cafetorium.

Outside of Notre Dame, Kuper has served as the choir director and music coordinator for St. Vincent de Paul Parish since 1977.

He says he’s slowing down with some of his ‘extracurriculars’ such as district accompaniment. But he still has countless fond memories to look back upon.


“Math has been a joy, but my involvement with music has really tapped more into my passion,” Kuper said. “And each year, the reward is those four shows, and feeling good about the finished product.”

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Notre Dame graduate Marty Strohmeyer has created quite a name for himself as a children’s musical director in the St. Louis area. From holding numerous teaching positions across the city to launching a non-profit children’s theatre company, he has offered much of his life to the stage without stepping foot in the spotlight.

Strohmeyer received his Bachelor’s of Science in Education with a specialization in speech and theatre from Southeast Missouri State University. In 1995, he went on to teach full-time at the private, all-boys Chaminade College Preparatory School in Creve Coeur. Here, he taught theatre for eight years.

During that time, Strohmeyer said he saw a lot of children’s theatre in the St. Louis area that didn’t focus on individual performers, and lacked in technical elements.

“They would pile a hundred kids onstage and not really spend much time working with them to make it a good quality,” Strohmeyer said. “And I just felt like there could be better alternatives.”

So, in 2002, he launched Shooting Star Productions, a non-profit theatre company for children ages 5-19. They have since hired a full, professional set of directors and designers, including a sound designer, a costume designer, and choreographers. Strohmeyer said they host two productions a year, and are now in their 18th year.

Strohmeyer said he enjoys seeing the talent that comes through his direction, and many kids come in well-trained.

“They have a goal of really making it in musical theatre,” Strohmeyer said. “And I’ve had kids that are now working all over New York and for national tours, and they’re very connected to the professional theatre world.”

In addition to his non-profit work, Strohmeyer has been teaching at the Visitation Academy of St. Louis, a private school for girls grades K-12 since 2003. Here, he’s involved not only with speech and theatre classes, but also directs the academy’s comprehensive theatre program.  

Strohmeyer has received numerous accolades for his work over the years. In 2017, the Fabulous Fox Theatre, The Muny and the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation launched the St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards. He has received the honor of  ‘Outstanding Direction’ for both years the awards have been presented. Visitation Academy has also received five awards for “best musical” from the St. Louis youth theatre awards out of the nine years they have been presented.

As for donning his character shoes, Strohmeyer says he’s ‘definitely a director.’


“I’ve been onstage four times since college, and I just don’t like it anymore,” said Strohmeyer.

He moved to Notre Dame midway through his junior year, but was still an active member in music and theater. He was a tenor in concert choir, attended District Music Competition with solo and ensemble pieces, and performed for the ‘pop concert’ his senior year. He also starred as Cinderella’s prince in the 1991 production of Into The Woods.

Albeit short, Strohmeyer felt a true sense of belonging during his time at Notre Dame

“At the school I came from, I didn’t feel like I fit in very well. But at Notre Dame... I called my classmates my 52 angels,” Strohmeyer said. “They pulled me in, they accepted me, and loved me. My senior year was the best year of my life.”

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Spring Musical

Tickets on sale NOW!

Hello, Dolly!

April 4, 5, 6, & 7, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

Notre Dame King Hall
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $10, reserved seating.


HELLO, DOLLY!, the blockbuster Broadway hit, bursts with humor, romance, high-energy dancing, and some of the greatest songs in musical theater history. The romantic and comic exploits of Dolly Gallagher-Levi, turn-of-the-century matchmaker and “woman who arranges things,” are certain to thrill and entertain audiences again and again. The show’s memorable songs include “Put On Your Sunday Clothes,” “Ribbons Down My Back,” “Before the Parade Passes By,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “Elegance,” and “It Only Takes a Moment.”




HELLO, DOLLY! is presented by arrangement with TAMS-WITMARK

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Notre Dame is being represented by 16 students among the 284 students in the Quad State Festival Choir at Murray State University.  They will sing John Rutter's "Requiem".   Lily Parker, senior, will perform the soprano solo.  The concert will take place at 6pm tonight rather than 6:30pm due to weather.

So proud of our students and Mrs. Ellen Seyer!!!


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Notre Dame Regional High School


Restaurants and Relationships

November 1, 2, 3 at 7:00 PM

King Hall

Restaurants and Relationships is an evening comprised of three one-act plays which reveal the development of relationships through the use of restaurants and food. The cast of twenty actors is directed by Miss Cynthia R. King and student assistant director Chelsea Ryan. Tickets are available on line or at the door. All seats are $10.


Act One, One Egg by Babette Hughes, is a hilarious witty farce in which two young people, meeting in a restaurant, are brought together by the difficulty of ordering one egg for breakfast. Lots of sure fire laugh lines and a perfect surprise finish.

Act Two, Something to Eat by Norman L. Rhodes, drops in on the Sunday afternoon of a young urban couple who can't decide where to go to eat. Every place he suggests she's against. She finally agrees to name a restaurant -- and those she suggests do not appeal to him. The conflict is a familiar one.

Act Three, Check Please by Jonathan Rand, showcases a series of first dates gone wrong. Dating can be hard. Especially when your date happens to be a raging kleptomaniac, or your grandmother's bridge partner, or a mime, or a number of other unusual personalities. This series of blind dinner dates couldn't get any worse -- until they do.

Cast includes: Aaron Deken, Andrew Jedlinski, Nick Kelley, Benjamin Schumer, Nick Sullivan, Breanna Breeden, Jalee Brumbaugh, Claire Conaway, Samantha Gardner, Caroline Heckemeyer, Mallary Ives, Audrey Jaco, Cheyanne Joiner, Zoe Koetting, Lily Parker, Lily Kay Pennington, Anna Schuchardt, Molly Sellers, Julia Walker, Kaylin Zoellner


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Food Drive a Huge Success

The Oct. 23 FOOD DRIVE sponsored by Backstage Blue and Thespian Honor Society Troupe #6344 yielded 73 boxes - 1,888 pounds! - of food for St. Mary Cathedral’s Food Pantry. 



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Thanks NAHS!

National Art Honor Society finished the year with a mural at St. Mary's.  Thank you for sharing your talents - Mr. Doug Dirnberger, Kassie Fluchal, Molly Rulon, Maria-Louisa Coello, Samantha Snyder, and Claudia Kern! Next time you are at St. Mary's, check it out!
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The Pop Concert last night was phenomenal.  Congratulations to all the performers, Mrs. Seyer, Mrs. Pecord, Mr. Worley and Ms. King.

Special CONGRATULATIONS to Lily Parker and Caroline Heckemeyer, the 2018 recipients of the Bethani Vandeven Memorial Scholarship.  This scholarship is awarded to two juniors who demonstrate love of the arts, have good attendance and discipline record, and participate in Church, school, and/or civic activities.  Students submitted an application and a one-page essay on "Service".  Congratulations!

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Congratulations to the 2018 Performing and Visual Arts Hall of Fame Members! These talented alumni were honored at a luncheon on April 7 and before the Saturday performance of Meet Me in St. Louis. Thank you for your contribution to the Arts.  


Claire Bira (Class of 2007) is a self-employed professional photographer. While at ND, Claire was a member of the National Art Honor Society.  She earned her BS in Fine Arts and English from St. Louis University.  Over the past seven years she has built her business, Imageclarity Photo and Cinema, photographing weddings, commercial shoots, family photographs, and the beauty of everyday life.  She has been recognized by The Knot, Missouri Wedding Belles, The Westchester Wedding Planner, and Magnolia Rouge Curated Collection. In addition to running her business, Claire is guest lecturer on photography at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Claire gives of time and talent through photo shoots in support of charitable causes. Congratulations, Claire Bira!



Greg Worley (Class of 1991) was active in the Arts while a student at ND even helping with scenery for the musicals. He received a Bachelor of Architecture and Design from Kansas State University. Greg is the owner of  ARCH –WORX  in St. Louis, Missouri and has been recognized by the American Society of Landscape Architects (team member in the design of City Garden, St. Louis);  St. Louis At Home Magazine Architect and Designer Awards; American Institute of Architects (AIA) St. Louis Design Honor Award; and Central States AIA Design (Merit Award in Residential Architecture). Greg shares his talents by creating mobile libraries for disadvantaged neighborhoods. Congratulations Greg Worley!



Carly Schneider (Class of 2008) participated in the fall plays and spring musicals while a student at ND, culminating in the role of Babe in Pajama Game. She was a member of the International Thespian Society and Tri-M Music Honor Society.  She graduated with a BA in Musical Theatre from Missouri State University and toured with Missoula Children’s Theatre and Nebraska Caravan in The Christmas Carol. Carly has performed in various regional theatre venues and has held notable roles including Beth in Little Women, Sister James in Doubt, and Penny Pingleton in Hairspray. She gives back to the community through “Arts for All” in lower-income schools across the five boroughs of New York and performs in “Broadway Unlocked” raising funds for the Crime Victim Treatment Center. Congratulations Carly!


Ann Welker (Class of 1976 and current faculty member) earned a BS in Secondary Education, major in English, minor in Music from Southeast Missouri State University and a MA in English from Southeast Missouri State University.  She is a former member of Southeast's Marching Eagles. Ann was recognized as the Southeast Missouri English Teacher of the Year in 2015. Ann has been a member of the Notre Dame Musical Orchestra for over 20 years and performed with the  Cape Girardeau Municipal Band for 15 years. Ann shares her talents with the students at ND playing for school liturgies and she is active in the St. Vincent's parish music ministry. Congratulations Ann!




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