This article originally appeared in the spring 2016 Harker Quarterly.
Grade 5 Sets Sail at Performance of ‘Pirates! The Musical’
Adventure on the high seas was in store for audiences of this year’s grade 5 show, “Pirates! The Musical,” directed by Kellie Binney-Smart and performed Jan. 28-29. A cast of 132 took the stage for a series of sea shanties about their swashbuckling exploits. In addition to the fifth graders, several faculty members joined in on the fun, including Katie Molin, Shelby Guarino, Jared Ramsey, Gerry-Louise Robinson, Kate Shanahan and Kristin Giam- mona. Songs performed during the show included “A Pirate’s Life for Me,” “Stowaway,” “King of the High C’s” and “The Pirate King.”
Upper School Dance Show Joyfully Reminisces About the ’80s and ’90s
A huge cast of 140 dancers paid tribute to the songs and styles of the ’80s and ’90s at the 2016 upper school dance show, “Mixed Tape: Songs to Dance To,” held Jan. 29-30 at the Blackford Theater. Separated into two acts – one for each decade – the show featured a total of 21 routines, set to such hits as Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Wham!’s “Wake Me Up,” and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”
Musicians Impress Audiences at Winter Concert
Middle and upper school student musicians performed this year’s Winter Concert at San Jose’s Mexican Heritage Plaza Theater Jan. 15-16, displaying their many talents in a variety of styles. The concert featured performances by the Grade 6 Jazz Band, Grade 6 orchestra, Grade 7-8 Jazz Band, the upper school’s Lab Band and The Harker School orchestra.
Four Middle School Instrumentalists Selected for All-State Bands
Four Harker middle school students were chosen to be members of statewide ensembles that performed in February at the California All-State Music Education Conference. French hornist Kai-Ming Ang, clarinetist Jenny Shaw and flutist Anika Tiwari, all grade 8, were selected for the California Band Directors Association’s All-State Junior High School Concert Band. Trumpeter Leland rossi, grade 7, was selected to play with the CBDA’s All-State Junior High School Jazz Band, making him the rst Harker student to play for an all-state jazz band. Together, these four students represent the largest group of Harker middle school students ever selected to play for all-state ensembles.
Middle School Dancers Earn High Honors at Competition
Harker dance students Karina Chen, grade 7, and Chloe Chen, grade 8, recently competed at the Hollywood Connection dance competition in Santa Clara, where they won a first place gold medal for lyrical dance in the 11-13 age group. Karina also earned the chance to receive a Hollywood makeover, while Chloe was put in the running for a special studio scholarship for a week of unlimited classes at the Millennium Dance Complex.
Both students are enrolled in Harker’s middle school dance program as members of the grades 7-8 girls dance group Showstoppers, and Karina was previously a member of Dance Fusion, the coed dance group for grades 4-6.
Congratulations to these two young talents!
Series of One-Act Plays Featured at Student Directed Showcase
The Harker Conservatory opened 2016 with its Student Directed Showcase, which took place at the Blackford Theater Jan. 8-9. one of the most rigorous courses in the performing arts program, the Student Directed Showcase puts four seniors each in charge of putting on a one-act play. In addition to directing the play, the students are tasked with handling every stage of its production, from casting to promotion to visual effects.
Grade 1 Students Gather to Celebrate the Holiday Season in Song
On Dec. 15, just days before the winter break, the grade 1 homeroom students of teachers Imelda Kusuma, Cindy Proctor, Larissa Weaver and Rita Stone gathered on the stage at the Bucknall Theater for the annual grade 1 holiday show, directed by Carena Montany. The students sang seasonal favorites, including “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” as well as newer songs, including “Spin a Little Dreidl” and “A Million Little Snow akes,” the song for which the show was named.
Grades 2 and 3 Spread Seasonal Cheer at Annual Holiday Show
Students in grades 2 and 3 celebrated the giving spirit of the holidays at the annual grades 2-3 holiday show, this year titled “The Spirit of the Season,” held Dec. 17 at the Bucknall Theater. Directed by lower school music teacher Carena Montany, the show featured students singing a variety of holiday-themed songs, including “Frosty the Snowman,” “Feliz Navidad” and “o Chanukah, o Chanukah.” Several numbers included special solo performances or instrumentation, such as the maraca and claves played respectively by second graders Sophia Schafer-Wharton and Jackson Powell on “Feliz Navidad.” The upbeat “Gettin’ in the Mood (For Christmas)” featured exciting choreography by Kimberly Teodoro.
Winter Concert Brings Together Lower School Musicians
Several lower school performing arts groups united in early December for the 2015 lower school Winter Concert, directed by Louis Hoffman, who also conducted the Lower School Jazz Ensemble and Lower School orchestra. other featured groups included the Bucknall Choir, conducted by Kellie Binney-Smart and Carena Montany, the Lower School String Ensemble, conducted by Toni Woodruff, and the Preparatory String Ensemble, also directed by Woodruff.