After working since before the beginning of the school year, Anna McLaughlin and her team of dedicated parents and helpers, brought to life the story of a toymaker whose only wish is to have a well-behaved son, or so he thought. My Son Pinocchio, Jr. is brought to life by a cast of third- through fifth-graders in a musical that is both delightful and poignant, encouraging all parents to embrace the individuality in their children and cherish their unique qualities. The wonderful music, costumes and sets bring us along on this colorful journey. Come and see for yourself: Friday, November 10, at 7 and Saturday, November 11, at 7, in Fishburn Auditorium. The performances are free and open to the public.
A Message from the Head of School
Years ago, my ninth-grade daughter learned that she would not be able to play both tennis and volleyball, because they occurred during the same season. Not content to let my daughter lounge around watching One Tree Hill reruns, my wife required my daughter to try out for our spring musical, Bye Bye Birdie. While initially reluctant, my daughter wound up participating in musicals all four years of high school and to this day has a deep appreciation for the theater.
I tell this story on the heels of watching our Lower School musical, My Son Pinocchio, Jr. and marveling at the large cast, fabulous costuming, and professional staging. Jacob Juneau as Geppetto and Anna Ciccozi as the Blue Fairy were particularly outstanding, but Tyler Bloomfield was a definite showstopper as Professore Buonragazzo, the mad scientist. The show is short, only an hour or so, but it is well worth watching and supporting our youngest thespians.
Families, friends and students turned out in spite of the rainy weather to fill Lemon Dining Hall Tuesday night for this year's Spring Instrumental Band Concert. Four different groups representing Beginning Band (fourth and fifth grades), Concert Band (sixth and seventh grades), Seventh Grade with Symphonic Band (eighth through twelfth grades), and Symphonic Band performed various selections ranging from classic to modern, swing to Hollywood.
Perhaps the most moving moment of the night was the seniors' tribute to Band Director Ms. Jimmie Donnini. Albert Newberry ’17, who will attend the prestigious Mannes School of Music in New York next year, composed an original piece for Ms. Donnini and invited the other seven band-member seniors, and two violinists (Margaret Lawrence ’17 and Ocean Ding ’18) to perform it for her last night. Much to her surprise and delight, the students had practiced over lunch periods the last several weeks the piece entitled "Jaguar," the brand of automobile for which Ms. Donnini has always expressed a longing. Though not a car, the piece illustrates a fast-car journey through winding roads and slick straightaways, always driving. He joked, "Forgive the overused metaphor, but, the car is new, we're still learning how to drive, but we hope you enjoy the ride." Given the standing ovation at the end, it's clear everyone did.
The concert was a wonderful display of the many talented musicians we have, who, whether it's their first concert performance at North Cross or their last, all exhibited the same dedication, skill and commitment which seems to follow them in whatever they endeavor to accomplish here. Many thanks to the wonderful Fine Arts faculty and staff, Friends of the Arts, parents and friends who have supported the arts this year.
At today's Upper School assembly, Polly Jones presented promotions to the chapter of the International Thespian Society (ITS) members of North Cross School. At the end of her remarks, she inducted four new members who then took the oath of the Society, administered by the current president of the North Cross chapter, Zack H'Doubler ’17.
On Thursday, 27 Upper School students along with art teacher Amy Jackson and a handful of chaperones visited the current American Impressionism in the Garden show at the Taubman Museum of Art. The students received a guided tour from a museum employee. Later students had the opportunity to do their own "impressions" of the art form working with watercolor. According to the Museum's website: "American Impressionism in the Garden features 30 paintings and sculptures by renowned American Impressionist artists who captured the colors and the ephemeral quality of light observed in the garden world. Visitors will enjoy classic garden plantings such as irises, peonies and hollyhocks painted by iconic artists including John Henry Twachtman, Frederick Childe Hassam and John Singer Sargent, as well as sit-and-sketch plant specimens in the exhibition’s drawing gallery." The show is on exhibit until May 14.
The fourth-grade Marimba Monkees and fifth-grade Magic Monkees recorded their first CD of African Latin music this spring and they are now available for purchase. For the project, Lower School music teacher Richard Rudolph invited area musicians to join the session recorded in the Ellis Hall music room. Bill Hoffman on guitar and Emily Bellamy and Candice Blair on percussion helped to round out the sound.
Works from the Middle and Upper School students are now on display in the Logan Gallery of Old Slack. The show, which held its opening reception last night, features a range of media and represents the variety of classes offered at North Cross. From photography to paint, paperwork to pottery, not to mention graphic design, the show celebrates the hard work and creativity of our visual arts students. The gallery is open Monday through Friday during normal school hours. We encourage everyone to stop by and take a look.
This past weekend was the conclusion of many months of rehearsals and preparation as audiences came to enjoy the stunning visuals and sounds of Disney's Aida—School Edition. With a score by Elton John and Tim Rice, the music laid the foundation for a story of a forbidden romance set against the backdrop of Ancient Egypt. Victoria Riego de Dios ’19 as Aida and Margaret Lawrence ’17 as the Egyptian princess set to marry embodied the passion and conflicting lives of the two female leads while Jacob Wadstrom ’20 and Ryan Huddleston ’21 offered their powerful lead vocals for the two male principles. These strong and talented actors had an amazing group of dancers and singers who acted as the chorus in the musical, while Zack H'Doubler ’17 and Campbell Bloomfield ’18 rounded out the cast as the fathers for the two betrothed .
Musical Director Andrew Miller said this of the cast: "I was incredibly proud of the students involved in this production. They all truly impressed me with the characters they portrayed on stage. The energy and expression they brought to the performance captivated everyone who came to see the musical." Below is a slideshow of photographs taken during the student matinée this past Friday.
Upper School Art teacher Amy Jackson informed her students of an upcoming art competition sponsored by Roanoke's Sister Cities International affiliation. A piece entered by Ben Li ’18 received an honorable mention and is advancing to the next level of competition. The prize for his winning entry was $25.
Sister Cities International aims to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time. This year’s Young Artists theme, “We’re Going Places,” showcases the importance of travel and exchange in achieving peace. The competition's guidelines stated: "Students are encouraged to draw inspiration from their experience with travel, exchange, international friendships, and their goals to present their vision of where the future will lead."
High School All-District Choir
On February 10-11, seven Upper School choral students attended the High School All-District Choir in Danville, Virginia at George Washington High School. After two long days of continuous rehearsal they performed, in their perspective choirs, for their parents. The students had the opportunity to work with two prolific choral conductors, Dr. Stephen Sieck of Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin and Michael Ehrlich of Woodson High School in Fairfax, Virginia. The students who attended this event were: Makayla Bibby, Olivia Bloch, Isa Kevorkian, Claudia Morgan, Victoria Riego de Dios, Jacob Wadstrom, and Lucy Yi.
Middle School All-District Chorus
This Saturday, March 4, ten Middle School choral students will attend the Middle School All-District Chorus event in Lynchburg, Virginia at Liberty Christian Academy. The students will rehearse all day on Saturday until the time of their performance at 5pm. If you would like to attend the concert, it is recommended to arrive 30 minutes before the performance. The students who will attend this event are: Lea Almahameed, Dayanna Anderson-Pryce, Mariah Eakin, Amaria Ford, Alexis Ford, Will Hoff, Ryan Huddleston, Ivy Mitchell, Adoria Sanders, and Meredith Winn.
The Crossties Blog provides timely updates about activities from the campus of North Cross School.