Orchestra Roundup & Ceramics Year-In-Review

Wright and Schaumann Earn Auditions for National Orchestra Festival

Violist Cecilia Wright ’21 and violinist Florence Schaumann ’22 both advanced from the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Central Region Orchestra Festival to the All-State Festival. While this year’s All-State Festival was cancelled, the girls’ scores allow them to audition for next year’s National Association for Music Education All-Eastern Orchestra Festival and the National Orchestra Festival, two highly competitive orchestras consisting of the top players in the country.

 

Ceramics Year-In-Review

By Beky Weidner

Last fall a handful of students had the opportunity to have their pieces fired in a wood kiln at a studio in downtown Lancaster. In January, students created and donated 40 bowls to the Opportunity House in Reading for their Empty Bowls event, and finally a group of 30 students took a field trip to a ceramics exhibit at Landis Homes by Dennis Maust, where they had the opportunity to hear Dennis talk about his work and ask him questions.

An Everlasting Legacy

By Hasan Maqbool

I took an, arguably, out of place trip to Iraq for about two weeks in October. I had left the country amid a time of approaching college application deadlines and stressful test weeks — all the while missing three weeks of school. The weeks before I left and after I came back were extremely stressful as I struggled to fulfill my responsibilities. Why then would I take such a long excursion just as school was really getting into gear?

IMG-1591
IMG-1501
IMG-1584
IMG-1521
IMG-1587
IMG-1508
IMG-1513
IMG-1378
IMG-1397
IMG-1517
IMG-1390
IMG-1389
IMG-1375
IMG-1368
IMG-1169
IMG-1152
IMG-1147
e1eaa9ec-4c5f-4939-b99f-08dc98d05b17
159cd8bc-9cd2-4919-b56f-a6e9584f7530

The reason was a religious pilgrimage called Arba’een. Shia Muslims traveling to major shrines in Iraq make up one of the largest gatherings in the world — about 22 million people gathering between two cities. What could these holy personalities have done to attract such a large number of people from all over the world?

Hussain was the grandson of Muhammad — the messenger of Islam. Following the example of his grandfather, Hussain promoted peace, coexistence, and righteous moral principles even as his birthright was usurped. When the tyrant leader Yazid demanded his pledge of allegiance, Hussain declined, saying that he would never bow to a man causing such moral decay and death.

Soon, Yazid’s forces cornered Hussain and his followers in the desert, denying them access to water. Hussain was faced with a decision: live and bow to the tyrant, abandoning all he and his family stood for, or die defending his family and principles from the onslaught of Yazid.

Hussain and his family died thirsty in the desert, fighting to preserve the true message of Islam — a message of charity, peace, virtue, and kindness.

As the army of Yazid pressed on, Hussain and his supporters stood alone that day. 1,400 years later, millions visit his shrine and those of his family — I was lucky enough to be one of them. I went to Iraq in order to relive the tragedy and revitalize my fidelity to the principles of Islam. I saw the shrines, envisioned the saints, cried at the gates, prayed for my friends and loved ones, and sympathized with those around the world suffering at the hands of tyrannical despots.

I felt a connection I can’t express in words and brought it back with me all the way here.

This pilgrimage reaffirmed what I should emphasize as priorities in my life — helping others, promoting peace, and taking a stand against injustice. Although Hussain and his family are buried peacefully in Iraq, I feel their presence every day and hope to advance and embody their principles as I go on.

The Whimsical Isolation of Delanie Edwards ’24

Earlier this month, Phil Lisi asked his students to write isolation-inspired poems. Delanie’s poem, “Isolation,” was particularly inspired, and has become part of an ongoing Arizona State chronicle of the pandemic: “A Journal Of The Plague Year: An Archive Of Covid19.”

Isolation
By Delanie Edwards

I’ve spent two weeks isolated
A major problem has been created
I used all of my hot sauce
This is such a loss
Food is a disgust
My mouth can’t adjust
Wait… I can order some online
The hot sauce will be all mine
I’ll order the largest size
In two day’s time it will be my greatest prize
It finally came
Now just to read the name
It’s chile-lime
This is such a crime
I must have ordered wrong
I just have to be strong
Until I can leave the house again
I don’t know when
Or until I can order correctly online
For now I’ll just have to dine
All alone in isolation
Without my hot sauce salvation

‘All Shook Up!’ — An Insider’s Review

By Christopher Matthews ’20

In June of 2019, Ms. Wolanin announced to the LCDS Theater Company that the winter musical would be “All Shook Up!” We were excited to perform whatever she could throw at us, but nobody had heard of this musical before. Little did we know, “All Shook Up!” would change all of our lives for the better.

DSC_1706
DSC_1712
DSC_1713
DSC_1724
DSC_1726
DSC_1730
IMG_2631
IMG_2636
IMG_2650
IMG_2655
IMG_2671
IMG_2675
014
012
010
006
005
003

As auditions approached, our excitement was through the roof. We learned a grueling dance routine (which later became the dance break of “Jailhouse Rock!”) and had to memorize multiple songs, all in a few short days. The days before the cast list’s release are always some of the most stressful times in the company, and this show was no different. Tensions ran high until the 22 cast members accepted their roles with glee.

From the beginning, everyone in the company knew that “All Shook Up!” would be one of the biggest productions that the Steinman Theatre had ever seen, but after a few rehearsals, we truly realized the massive scale of the production.

Typically our shows take place on one set, but “All Shook Up!” requires many distinct locations that could not possibly be condensed into a single set. We needed to figure out how to use every single inch of space backstage to store different pieces of furniture while more than 20 actors scrambled to make their entrances on time.

The further we got in the process, the bigger the show seemed to become, but with a fighting spirit (and a lack of snow days), we charged into tech week.

It took us almost two full days to set up the lights, sound, and scene changes for the show, a process that normally takes only a few hours. While this was happening, the crew organized the backstage and the actors feverishly reviewed their lines and the musical numbers.

“All Shook Up!” features more than 25 different iconic Elvis songs, all of which have challenging harmonies and difficult high notes. Our vocal director, Mr. Woodbridge, masterfully taught the ensemble all of the music in less than two months while also teaching the principal characters their solos during office hours.

As opening night approached, our nerves were through the roof, following the same path our excitement had taken before auditions.

Because we didn’t have school on Friday, traditionally one of our busiest nights, many more students and faculty decided to come to the Thursday night production. The house was packed.

After our pre-show warmups, Ms. Wolanin delivered a heartwarming pep talk that reminded us to stay grounded and to have fun. The seniors looked to opening night with a bittersweet excitement. “All Shook Up!” was the swan song for many of the 17 seniors, so every single one of us wanted to give it 100 percent.

Opening night could not have gone better because of the tremendous amount of energy from the cast and audience. Thursday’s show led us into an extremely successful weekend of theater in which we sold out two of our four shows. As we struck the set on Sunday after everything was over, the exhaustion had begun to set in, but we could not have been more thrilled with the work we put in. We put on a grueling production, but we gained a whole new appreciation for one of the most iconic performers of all time in the process.

‘Bada Bing, It’s Spring!’

The musical, “Bada Bing, It’s Spring!” debuted to acclaim in the Steinman Theatre March 5. Featuring numbers such as “What has happened to spring?” and “Weeds!,” the musical included students in K-2 playing the roles of various flowers, weeds, and birds, and included two intrepid kindergarten teachers as the Dandelion Queens.

071
067
058
053
051
050
048
045
044
042
040
035
033
030
029
028
025
023
022
021
019
018
016
015
014
013
011
009
006
005
003
026