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.
It’s Creepy and It’s Cooky!Posted by David Coe
For our special Halloween assembly the Upper School chorus and instrumental students joined forces to perform “The Addams Family Theme.” This song from the 60’s TV show has become a spooky classic and is known especially for it’s famous finger snaps. It’s impossible to hear the opening 4 notes without responding with a “snap snap!”
Following the performance, we entered the traditional halloween parade- take a look!
It’s Recorder Time!Posted by Megan Kirk
Students in third grade could not be more excited about receiving their very own instruments! The recorder is a wonderful introductory instrument that helps to enforce all of the music theory we have been learning. I am so proud of each student’s motivation to learn and practice their recorders at home! After only one week of having these instruments, students have learned Ode To Joy by Beethoven. Students have also been experimenting with the notes they have learned, figuring out other songs like Hot Cross Bun and Mary Had a Little Lamb, all on their own! While the weather has been nice, we have been taking the recorders outside to practice. It has been a great start to the new school year!