Etcetera - 10/06/10

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Former Dixie resident Brandon K. Biggs has been developing his operatic voice, according to parents Atom and Sonja Biggs of Mountain View, Calif., and has two performances slated in October.

If not busy enough taking 19 units at Foothill College, Brandon portrayed a vampire pirate alien in a film in Santa Cruz. He is on a dance team that performed in front of the San Jose City Hall and had a callback for "Holes" at Hillbarn Theater.

Brandon was homeschooled and attended Waitsburg Middle School and his freshman and sophomore years at Walla Walla High School. He received stage direction from Peggy James of Dayton and vocal instruction from Audrey Renaud of Dixie, both stalwart fans.

Using his family's motto, "Reach for the Stars," he tackles everything in which he is interested, including acting, singing and dancing. He won a national 2010 "Yes I Can" award for achievements as a blind performer from the Council for Exceptional Children.

He's building quite a resume as an actor and vocal performer in music theater, including productions of "Cinderella" and "Beauty and the Beast" while living in this area. He's also appeared in "Fiddler on the Roof," "Camelot," "Hello Dolly" and "Les Miserables" and performed at the Grand Ole Opry Hotel in Nashville.

Dazzled by his packed schedule, Sonja said recently that she can't keep up. His grandparents, Dick and Shirl Phillips, reside in Walla Walla.

Zonta Club of Walla Walla members will host a "Mad Hatter's Tea Party" from 2-4 p.m. Oct. 16 in the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 325 S. First Ave.

Participants are encouraged to bring a favorite hat or try on hats from Maejul Gannon's collection, said B.J. Selde via e-mail.

There will be refreshments and door prizes. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 15, and may be bought at the door or purchased from a Zonta member. For more information, call Betty Appling at 525-4608 or June Anderson at 525-7258. Proceeds will go to local scholarships and the YWCA Women's Shelter.

Zonta is an international professional women's service organization founded in 1919. The Walla Walla chapter was started in 1953.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions.

Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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