Comedic ScriptsPosted by Megan Kirk
Students in fourth grade learned the basics of script writing in performing arts. They then completed a class project where they had to work as a team to create a comedic short play loosely based on an existing fairytale. Not only were students learning how to write and perform a short story, they were also learning how to work together as a team – one of the most important lessons in performing arts! The end result was amazing and students had a blast showing their classmates their work!
狗年大吉大利 Luck and prosperity in the Chinese New Year of the Dog!Posted by Kate Haviland
With the drumbeat and chant from our kindergarteners, the excitement of performing to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Dog began from the first moment. Students performed songs and chants using their own traditional crafts as props and introductions and background were given by our older students in… Mandarin and English!
Making these crafts gave students the opportunity to learn the Chinese traditions involving food, decorations and the history of this holiday. Very quickly each student knew the character – 福（fú, luck and happiness)and the traditional gesture for wishing a good Chinese New Year with the expression – 恭喜恭喜 ( gōng xǐ gōng xǐ). Students in third and fourth grade were very proud of themselves when they made their 福（fú）character crafts. As students learned in class, when福(fú）is upside down, it means “luck and happiness have arrived.” There are several upside down 福（fú）characters in the first grade students’ crafts, so luck and happiness have just arrived around us at Unquowa. Upper school students also made their own 春联 ( (chūn lián), adding happiness and best wishes to the celebration.
As you are watching this video full of our students’ enthusiasm and talent, we wish you and your family 狗年大吉大利 (gǒu nián dàjí dà lì)…luck and prosperity in the Chinese New Year of the Dog!
2017 Winterfest – The Lost Treasure of UnquowaPosted by Lloyd Mitchell
The magic of this year’s Winterfest 2017 for your viewing enjoyment!
Winterfest 2017 … What A Night!Posted by Kate Haviland
What an INCREDIBLE night! Bursting with energy, Winterfest 2017 had the audience clapping, singing, laughing and, yes, even crying a little bit.
Our performing arts teachers wrote a fantastic script, The Lost Treasure of Unquowa, masterfully weaving the school’s centennial into the plot. The future of Unquowa was threatened in its 100th year and the students were determined to save it! A map discovered in the school archives sent them searching for treasure in the Kingdom of Unquowa where they met pirates, mermaids, parrots and fortune tellers. With the help of our traditional knights, wizards, jesters, stick and star dancers they found the treasure, a 100 year old letter from the five founding families of the school. Having discovered that the real treasure was the unafraid spirit of Unquowa, they returned to Fairfield where the town declared the school to be a “historical site”… protecting it for many centuries to come.
The range of music was amazing – imagine a script with numbers by Aretha Franklin, J.S. Bach, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Cole Porter, Earth, Wind and Fire, Dropkick Murphys and Gloria Estefan! Our instrumental ensemble led the way, the performers nailed every song and dance and the tech crew kept the whole night running smoothly!
Before ending with our traditional dances and the royal court declaring Friday to be a pajama day, the story closed with the entire cast chanting “100 years strong, this is where we belong“… and, of course, the audience joined right in!
Can you tell a story with no words?Posted by Alyson Cahill
Is it possible to tell stories without speaking? Sixth graders recently answered this question – with astonishing results – during our unit on pantomime in Performing Arts. Pantomime is a fantastic way to explore the use of our “instruments” as actors, taking risks with movements and expressions. Using only their bodies and faces, students started with simple scenes and moments (for example, eating spaghetti or walking a small dog) and then progressed into more complex scenes, such as complete fairy tales! In small groups, they created moments from popular children’s stories and performed them all in pantomime. We invited students from kindergarten and first grade into the drama room to watch and guess which stories were being presented. It was a terrific way to complete our pantomime unit and all students involved had a great time!
Address To The MoonPosted by Megan Kirk
Address To The Moon is a poem written by Nathaniel Hawthorne that was put to music by John Purifoy. Students began learning this song by first reading and researching the poem. We analyzed and gave meaning to the wonderful text. After having a deeper understanding of the picture Nathaniel Hawthorne was painting with his words, we began learning this difficult piece. While learning the music, students discussed why the composer chose to have certain melodic lines, and interesting harmonies. We also learned a lot about choral singing while learning this piece. Students had to answer many difficult questions in rehearsal. How do we blend as a chorus? Why is blending so important? How do we use our techniques such as proper diction and breath support during this song? How do we paint this picture with just our voices? How do we remain on our own part while someone next to us is singing something different? Students tackled each one of these questions and more during rehearsals, and with a lot of hard work were able to share this beautiful piece with the Unquowa Community.