Even though we are already preparing for our next show, I wanted to comment on the last gallery exhibition by the Art rEvolution class. Our students were impressed early on in J-Term with the work of this class, but the final product was awe inspiring. The crowd who attended the Arts on the Move evening was treated during intermission to a collection of work as prolific as it was impressive. My favorite piece was the collaborative Matisse wall mural. I love that it was inspired by the field trip the class took to see the Matisse exhibit in New York. I love that they all started with white paper and mixed the colors themselves, and of course, I love that it was a collaborative piece.
One of the many J-Term classes on display at the Arts on the Move event was the class that wrote, directed, and performed one act plays. I had heard there were good things brewing when our J-Term class submitted this early piece highlighting the power of community within the class.
Our students were struck by the fact that “no one is ever alone.” Even though there were students from four different grade levels in the class, the students supported each other in a true collaborative effort. “Mr. Clay, who teaches with Mr. McCreary, explained that they begin the class by listing community norms so students understand what it takes to create a safe environment on stage.”
I was able to witness the final product last week, and once again, I was impressed with both the quantity and quality of work that J-Term classes were able to produce in just two weeks. The class produced nine “shorts,” ranging from funny and satirical to moving and disturbing. I remember cackling pretty loudly during the evening, and I definitely remember one truly horrifying scene. And while some of the school’s most experienced actors were on display, there were many newcomers who may have just discovered their calling.
If we can do all this in two weeks, I cannot wait to see this Spring’s production of The Sound of Music!
I am continually impressed by the quality of the Arts program at Episcopal. Thursday night I attended “Arts on the Move,” and once again, I was blown away. I was prepped for the evening with a wonderful early morning chapel that focused on music and the spirituality of it. The jazz band and string ensemble played, and Mr. Erwin courageously took to his acoustic guitar and eventually got us all singing “We Shall Overcome” hand in hand. What I love about the evening event was the blending of the arts. There was instrumental music (both with group and individual performances), dance, visual art, and theater. Student and teacher passion, collaboration, and dedication were all on display.
I may have to convert this to several posts, but let me begin with Dance. It seems our dance program just keeps growing and improving. From Brian Sean’s solo masterpiece to the power of the ensemble pieces, I was touched by the athleticism, teamwork, and true artistic sense of the group. Leah Marchant opened the evening tapping along with the Jazz band, and over the course of the next 45 minutes, I was treated to a stylistic and funny number with “Clue,” an amazing ensemble piece with “Underground,” and a truly powerful interpretation of Maya Angelou’s “Touched By an Angel.” The use of light and music heightened the emotional impact for me.
I often sit and wonder about the educational aspects of the student experience, but I must confess, our dancers had me lost in the moment. I can only now reflect on all that they must have been taught, all they thought about, and all the hours they put in to make this amazing. I reflect on it now because last night I was simply mesmerized. They demonstrated what we heard earlier in the day- the arts have an inspirational power to touch our spirit. Bravo!