This article was originally published in the fall 2012 Harker Quarterly.
Many of Harker’s performing arts faculty enhanced their professional resumes this summer, returning to Harker with new stories and new skills.
Jenny Sandusky, who leads lower and upper school vocal ensembles, went on tour to Los Angeles with Ragazzi, a Grammy award-winning boys chorus based on the peninsula. Sandusky is the group’s associate artistic director.
Karl Kuehn, upper school dance teacher, also connected with Ragazzi. “I worked [with them] on choreography for their upcoming season,” he notes. Kuehn also taught a summer dance intensive at Atlas School of Dance in San Jose and attended the Dance Teacher’s Summit in New York City, where participants took part in movement sessions, seminars and workshops led by expert teachers.
Monica Colletti, middle school performing arts teacher, visited the famed Second City organization in Chicago. “I worked on my improvisation skills in a week-long intensive course in improv and sketch writing,” she said. Second City is a top-notch theater and improvisation group that has produced countless Saturday Night Live alumni.
Danny Dunn, lower school technical director, wrote and directed two circus shows in the month of July and found outlets for a wide variety of skills across various media including finishing another children’s book.
Every summer, Jeff Draper, upper school performing arts teacher and dean of the class of 2013, is the education director at Young Rep, a theater workshop in Walnut Creek now in its 39th year. He directed and taught classes as varied as British scene study performance, Shakespeare in performance, a make-up master class and an advanced voice and speech class. He also taught film acting: “A lot of film equipment that I learned how to use and edit with, I will be using at Harker this fall.”
Upper school music teacher Susan Nace participated in Harker’s Tamagawa teacher exchange program. Read the full story here.
Finally, Laura Lang-Ree, K-12 performing arts department chair, worked on both her directing skills and her theater skills at the Broadway Teachers Workshop in New York City, a course that brings in current Broadway professionals to work with participants. She took courses on script analysis, vocal interpretation and dance. Lang-Ree is also the vocalist for the Los Gatos/Saratoga Big Band, and performed with them at Santana Row and the San Jose Jazz Festival.