“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything."

– Plato


Music at MCHS is open to all Marquette Catholic High School students and encompasses a variety of musical opportunities both on and offstage.  Students may participate in vocal solo and group performances, instruments solo and group performances, mainstage musical theater productions, workshops with guest artists, field trip opportunities, and student-written music.  Additional events and activities are offered throughout the year, and students may participate in as many facets of music as interested.

High school drama teacher carries on mom's legacy in theater

"I hope that they feel the love that I have for my mom," Brett said. "And I hope they feel on some level the love my mom had for this school and for this program."

ALTON, Ill. — At Marquette Catholic High School in Alton, if you ask for the time, they'll tell you it's showtime.

The curtain is about to come up on a student performance of "Peter Pan."


"It's a big undertaking," said Music and Theater Director Brett Klaus.

More than 30 kids will be on stage tonight and almost as many backstage.


But as much as this production is likely to make some memories, it's also honoring one.

Klaus knew that putting on this play would be as daunting as trying to catch a shadow. But it's one he had to try.


"I have yet to do a show of hers, and this was one that she did that people still 20 years ago, remember," he said.


They remember that show and they remember Ruth Klaus, Brett's mom.


"Her legacy is, is huge," he said.

Ruth Klaus held the spotlight as head of Marquette's drama department for almost 30 years.

The school principal was in his opening act as a teacher when they first met.


"If you met her, she could change your life," Tim Harmon, Marquette's principal said. "I learned some of the most important lessons as a new teacher from her about how to interact with students about how to hold those firm lines."


But a few years ago, when Ruth was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Brett put his own theater career on hold to take care of her. Eventually, becoming the ultimate understudy.


"I swore on my life, I would never teach high school because I saw how hard she worked," Brett said. "Somehow, somehow in this, I found fun and joy. And so now, I just want to give these kids every opportunity that I can."


To make this "Peter Pan" revival happen, the school community raised close to $20,000 to pay for effects like flying harnesses and cables.


"'Peter Pan' was actually my favorite Disney movie when I was younger. So when we were doing it, I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm so excited!'" said senior Edie Tesson, who plays Peter.


And even though most of the kids in this musical never knew Mr. Klaus' mom, they know they're taking flight from a stage that now bears her name.

It was dedicated to her in 2018.


"We can see the passion that he's putting into it and we feel, we feel her here," said senior Juliana Barnerd, who stars as Wendy.


The musical is about the value of childhood, the power of imagination and the importance of family. These are messages the audience will take home with them.


"I just hope that they see how fun things can be when you work together," Barnerd said. "And just have a little faith, trust and pixie dust."


A drama teacher carrying on a legacy and inspiring a new generation of young performers to take flight and pursue their dreams.


"I hope that they feel the love that I have for my mom," Brett said. "And I hope they feel on some level the love my mom had for this school and for this program."




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Theater Production

  • Friday, September 2 - Auditions for Fall Play
  • October 14 & 15 - Fall Play, 7:30 PM on the Ruth Klaus Stage
  • January, TBD - Six The Broadway Musical at The Fox
  • Friday, January 13 - Auditions for Spring Music
  • April 13, 14, & 15  - Spring Musical, 7:30 on the Ruth Klaus Stage


Music Performances

  • Tuesday, September 13 - Drumline Festival at SIUE
  • Friday, September 16 - Drumline Pep Rally performance
  • Wednesday, September 14 - Chorus : Homecoming Mass
  • Sunday, September 18 - Chorus : Mass in the Plaza
  • Tuesday, October 18 - Fall Chorus Concert
  • Friday, October 28 - St. Louis Symphony Concert
  • November, TBD  - Taken-Jordan Hospital Thanksgiving Holiday Performance, 12:30pm
  • December, TBD - Community Caroling Outreach
  • December, TBD - Christmas Choral Concert
  • Wednesday, February 1 - Catholic Schools Week - Bishop Mass
  • Saturday, March 4 - IHSA State Contest
  • Friday, March 17 - Perform at the Student Art Show at Jacoby Arts Center
  • April, TBD - Coral Festival at Greenville University
  • Saturday, April 22 - MCHS Vocal Competition
  • Thursday, April 27 - Spring Choral Concert
  • Thursday, May 14 - Baccalaureate Mass at St. Mary's
  • May-June - Drumline Season Begins


Student Visual Arts Show

  • Friday, March 17 - Student Art Show at Jacoby Arts Center 6pm


Illinois High School Association

  • Saturday, March 4 - IHSA Solo & Ensemble Competition


Music Awards Ceremony

  • TBD


National Anthem Solo Performances

  • Varsity Sporting Events
  • Other Community Events


Marquette Chorale Masses

  • Opening Day School Mass (during school)
  • September 14 - Homecoming Mass (during school)
  • Tuesday, November 1 - All Saints Mass (during school)
  • Wednesday, February 1 - Catholic Schools Week Mass with Grade Schools (during school)
  • Wednesday, February 22 - Ash Wednesday Mass (during school)
  • Thursday, May 11 - Baccalaureate Mass at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 7:30 PM

McKendree University 2022 Choir Invitational

Christmas: Dinner and Show Tickets | Dec 9 • 4:30-7 PM buy tickets

Grinch hand with ornament
Peter Pan