Fine and performing arts students plan for exciting fall, winter seasons

Fine and performing arts students plan for exciting fall, winter seasons

Hannah Liu

By Hannah Liu
The upcoming season for fine and performing arts students will be full of exciting concerts, art projects, and theatre productions.
Arts department chair Todd Young looks forward to “more collaborative infrastructure and opportunities,” and adequate resources, which the entire fine and performing arts department plans to “make the most of” this school year. 
Music
There is a “strong musical group” of freshmen that Young has met so far, who seem “fun and excited” for the coming season. Young also added that this year is the first time in a while where all music teachers have their schedules and classes taught to their complete satisfaction.
In their first performance of the year, Jazz Ensemble performed at Newtonville Village Day, on Sept. 25, a gathering of food trucks, local shops, activities for kids, live music, and dance performances.
According to junior Cameron Mastoras, a Jazz Ensemble member, this year’s Jazz Ensemble group will be “one of the best” compared to previous years. “The entire jazz program is growing pretty fast,” Mastoras said. “There are a lot of new people and I’m just excited to play with all of them.”
Young echoed Mastoras’ view of the upcoming Jazz year, mentioning that the Jazz bands are particularly popular with many newcomers.
Following this, the ensemble will perform along with most of the other music ensembles at North at the annual fall concert Harvestfest, Nov. 16 and 17 in the auditorium.
Orchestra, which will perform at Harvestfest, is preparing by rehearsing both in and outside of school.
Senior Mukund Desibhatla, a member of Orchestra, explained, “While the rehearsals may seem tedious at times, they pay off in the end when we master difficult pieces.”
Likewise, Family Singers is preparing for the concert by learning new pieces, one of which is in German. Junior Thacher Andreae, a member of the chorus, explained that he enjoys the songs they learning because they are “complex and challenging.”
He added that the Family Singers and music groups in general “provide an environment where you’re less likely to be judged and where you can make friends easily.”
Visual Arts
Junior Ying Ying Rossi, a ceramics student, described arts classes as “fun and free.” She added that “there are not many guidelines,” allowing students to create what they want.
On Oct. 26, the Newton Free Library will house various student-made expressionist and ceramic pieces, which are currently lined along Tiger Drive. Art teacher Shannon Slattery prompted her students to create the pieces to convey a message about an important issues by blind contouring faces, or sketching a face without looking an image. They were influenced by work created by contemporary artist Jean Michel Basquiat, German expressionism, and Fauves.
Junior Kate West, an art major, created an image in support of feminism with the definition of feminism printed throughout. “USE THE F-WORD” is bolded at the bottom. West’s piece was inspired by her feminist beliefs. According to West, “Most people don’t take the matter of women’s rights seriously. Most men, in my experience, would never call themselves a feminist because of the way society has warped it into such a stigmatized word with connotations of man-hating.”
Arts students also have opportunities to take educational field trips throughout the year, the first of which being a trip to the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park on Nov. 18, which will be open to the first 40 students who sign up.
Students will also visit the New Art Center, which is located at 61 Washington Park, just a few streets over from North. Because the exhibits change often, the date of the trip has yet to be determined.
Another upcoming project is Slattery’s restoration of a mural from North’s old building, entitled “Works Progress Administration,” or WPA. The WPA mural is made up of three parts and was created by Maurice Compris, an established mural painter and furniture designer, in the 1930s.
Theatre Ink
According to Theatre Ink director Adam Brown, the theatre program this year is “truly from page to stage” and totally “student driven.”
Starting off the season, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” is a collaborative North and South show directed by senior Emily Ecker and South senior Abby Lass. It will take place Oct. 27-29 at South.
“I hope that everyone who sees it will fall in love with the characters just like I have and will start to question what really makes up our lives and what we really know,” said Ecker. “The entire show is about knowledge and it’s been really fun to delve deep into those ideas. I’m super excited for the production I hope everyone will make the trek out to South to see it”
“This is Me” is the freshman cabaret musical directed by sophomores Tea Baum, Rene Miller, Kiley Smyth, and Meghan Vecchione. The show encompasses a wide range of genres form musical theatre to rock to student written sketch comedies, and it is an all inclusive cast of freshmen.
Smyth said, “It’s a theme based on yourself this year, instead of past years where all the themes have been based on lifting each other up. It’s about showing yourself to others and not being afraid to express yourself.”
The shows are scheduled to “spread the wealth” of theatre experiences throughout the year according to Brown. The student directed musicals will be in December instead of May, sketch comedy will be in in February instead of June, and Cabaret troupe will be in June instead of February. The shows are being placed throughout the year rather than having multiple shows within weeks of each other.
Additionally, Brown explained that every performance this year will be unique in that students are creating works from their heart. This year for Theatre Ink is set to be full of passion, drama, talent, and entertaining performances.
Young described this year as a “restart” spanning the arts department, adding, “I think it’s going to be a fantastic year. I look forward to the Fine and Performing Arts working together as a team in all disciplines.”
Upcoming events:

  • Portraits and Ceramics created by the North Art students on display at the Newton Free Library, Young Adult Area Oct. 26 at 4 p.m.
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead directed by senior Emily Ecker and South senior Abby Lass Oct. 27-29 at South.
  • Harvestfest I and II performed by Jazz Ensemble I, Tiger BeBop, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Jubilee Singers, and Vocal Ensemble, Concert Choir, Family  Singers, Orchestra, String Ensemble Nov. 16-17
  • Assassins directed by seniors Anastasia Foley Zoe Jasper Dec.7-10
  • Freshman Cabaret directed by sophomores Teá Baum, Rene Miller, Meghan Vecchione, and Kiley Smyth Dec. 14-16
  • In School “Holiday Concert” performed by the Music Ensemble
  • In School Caroling sung by the Vocal Ensembles, Dec. 23