The Virtual VAPA Recognition Event was on Wednesday, May 26 with arts honor society inductions and recognitions, as well as Arts Pathways spotlights for graduating seniors in the Arts Pathways.
Applied Music-Recitals: Students taking private lessons with Berwick music teachers had their recitals on April 14 and 15 in a virtual recital session. Student musicians showcased their talents and hard work across genres and instrumentation. Both were wonderful performances shared with our students and families.
This spring trimester we have been diligently preparing for the Dance Concert, titled Imagine & Illusion. This year’s concert was filmed individually on the theater stage and then put together into one final video to be posted on myBerwick. We were so excited to invite Lower School classes to watch some of the performances filmed in the theater during the school day. This gave our dancers an opportunity to have a live audience and show their peers what they worked so hard on this year.
Performing Arts: Music
Maine Festival Updates:
Twelfth grade student Sarah Lummus and tenth grade student Siddhi Poraiyan both auditioned for and participated in the Maine All-State Honors Festival Orchestra. This year they were in master classes and rehearsals via Zoom on May 20-22 with recordings submitted for a virtual concert on May 29, 2021. The District 1 Honors Festival for this year was transformed into a solo festival with students submitting video performances of specified music to be considered for a judges comments and a ranking. Symphonic Band members Lisa Parker Feld (‘21) received a Bronze for her flute performance and William Shipley (‘23) received a Silver for his trombone solo. These are very high and prestigious honors for our academic musicians.
String Ensembles was busy performing at events around campus both in person and virtual. The US strings gave a nice performance in the tent for Berwick Friends day on Friday, May 7, and they will also be performing for the US Baccalaureate in June. The Grade 7-8 strings also performed for the eighth grade Baccalaureate on campus.
The US Symphonic Band and Jazz Band finally enjoyed a chance to play together in person, as we moved outside the Arts Center with special instrument masks and bell covers for all the winds. It definitely was a joyous celebration to make music together again for the first time in over a year.
Some of our trimester performing arts/music courses finished strong. The eMusic classes created their own soundtracks for the “Duck and Cover” video featuring Bert the Turtle. It was a favorite project every term where students create two contrasting musical scores for the animated clip. Ukulele Ensemble finished up with students selecting a song to learn and then taught it to the rest of the class. We finished the term with a ceremony with Kakui nut leis and performed Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s arrangement of the “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/It’s a Wonderful World.
Making the Cut- updates
The winter production was written largely by the cast, which incorporated some original scene work and characters about the production of a fictional Broadway review in the time of COVID, featuring some of the music from Chorus Line. COVID-related events pushed the final filming and film production into April, but it was ready for viewing after Woofstock on May 28 in the theater!
Aesop’s (Oh So Slightly) Updated Fables
We were thrilled to not only film Aesop’s (Oh So Slightly) Updated Fables, but also to have four live productions in the theater for MS students. It was the first live production in over a year, and the cast of Aesop’s was in turns delightful and hilarious.
The twelfth grade pinnacle art collaborated to create a multi-panel painting that explores the students’ experience in 2020 and which reflects on the major events of the past year. The art and artist statement will be installed in the lower level of Fogg at the end of May.
Zooming with Henny and Avery (remote) while working on the collaboration project. When Jenny’s canvas comes from Beijing, we’ll include it in the art and install it in Fogg!
Fifth Graders have been thinking about representation in art, and how we decide who gets the honor of having their portrait painted and preserved for observation in a museum. They looked at and talked about the work of Kehinde Wiley and the "old masters" of painting for some background information, and then chose a person who they felt deserved to be remembered and honored to create a portrait of, in a media of their choice. They practiced drawing their person according to proportion and observation, and they all worked on a large scale.
A few examples of these fifth grade portraits from this project.