This story originally appeared in the fall 2013 Harker Quarterly.
Over the summer, several of Harker’s performing arts staff stayed busy with performances, professional development and other activities.
Monica Colletti, middle school drama teacher, traveled to Chicago for two weeks to take an immersion course in music improvisation at the Second City Training center. “As a result, I have since begun taking weekly improv classes at Made Up Theater in Fremont,” she said.
At the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, upper school drama teacher Jeff Draper worked with the Young Rep program, which had more than 100 students from ages 12-22 spending seven weeks in acting, musical theater, playwriting, directing and technical theater workshops. “Summer programs in the performing arts can be successful, especially if there is a facility to run them,” Draper noted.
Danny Dunn, lower school technical director, directed no less than five musicals for the summer youth program at the Tabard Theatre Company in San Jose. She also served as the director for the company’s summer camp.
One of the busier performing arts faculty members was upper school dance teacher Karl Kuehn, who performed in shows by the Atlas School of Dance and Dance Effects, as well as being a backup dancer on the main stage at San Francisco Pride. He also attended a dance camp in Sacramento with the junior varsity and varsity dancers, and did dance and choreography rehearsals with the Ragazzi Boys Chorus during the Dance Teacher Summit in New York City.
Performing arts chair Laura Lang-Ree continued fronting the Los Gatos Saratoga Big Band as lead vocalist and performed at various venues and festivals throughout the summer, such as Santana Row and the San Jose Jazz Festival.
Upper school music teacher Susan Nace performed at a variety of concerts, including one featuring music from video games. She also attended a “wonderful” choral conference in Santa Fe, N.M. “I filled in some questions I’ve had on choral tuning and ensemble rhythm issues,” she said.