Building Upon Tradition and Success in the Arts

September 09, 2014

Many things set a CSS education apart from other options. Our performing and fine arts programs are near the top of this list. Building on the success of our artist-in-residence program, this year’s art program has CSS students working with professional artists who practice their craft at the local, regional, and even national levels. The school’s commitment to providing authentic learning experiences from those who know the arts best is in line with our mission of bringing our students out of the classroom and into the real world. The real world is coming to us in the form of several very fine adjunct faculty. Our performing arts line-up for the year is strong. Children’s School will produce six plays (one for each grade level in Kindergarten - 5th grade) that will be performed in our hallmark Dessert Theatre presentations over the course of the year. Middle School will produce three performances and one showcase of technical theatre production. The Upper School drama program will produce a fall and spring play this year. Additionally, our 4th - 12th grade students will audition in the coming weeks for the October 10th Homecoming Revue, a talent and variety show. (Spoiler alert – look for me featured in a short and playful cameo role in this year’s Revue.

Please allow me to introduce the following adjunct faculty to the Arts department this year.

Steve Emily will direct our two Upper School drama productions as well as coach our student Thespian actors CSS Troupe # 2991 as they prepare for the December Thespian Convention. (Sandy Bray will serve as the Production Manager for the shows as well as faculty sponsor for the Upstagers/Thespian Club.) Steve’s professional credits are too numerous to mention but he worked with such acclaimed theatre companies as Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, Northlight, The Goodman, Irish Rep, Steep and many others. After moving to Colorado in 2006, Steve has worked with Theatreworks, the Fine Arts Center (FAC), and StarBar. In 2009, Steve co-founded Springs Ensemble Theatre, where he has served as actor, producer, director, designer, and has been board President for the past three years. In addition, Steve has appeared in numerous commercials, the film Woodshop, and the television series In Plain Sight and America’s Most Wanted. Steve holds a B.F.A., in Theatre from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, is married, and has a two and half year old.

Max Ferguson will teach the Middle School 2nd and 3rd term Drama courses. Each course will result in a sharing performance. Max is also assisting Sandy Bray in the Musical Theatre course for Middle School and he is teaching the Upper School Stage Production and Combat course. Max is an accomplished professional actor who has worked in off-Broadway productions and the  Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky. He is a very experienced drama and voice teacher and director. He began teaching Technical Theatre at Wasson High School and taught at a Second Youth Rep, focusing on text analysis and scene study. He was then engaged by the Children’s Chorale to adapt and stage an abridged Christmas Carol to suit their needs. He joined the administrative staff there and has also been part of the drama teaching faculty ever since.

A national caliber touring professional singer and dancer in her own right, Becca Vourvoulas will be directing Upper School Choir and serving as a choreographer for Middle School Musical Theatre, in addition to teaching the Kindergarten and 1st grade Creative Dramatics/Music classes in January and February with a Dessert Theatre in March.

These fine teachers and directors will be joined by the following returning supporting theatre professionals to make the productions come alive. Alex Ruhlin will be on the production team as a Sound and Lighting designer. He will be working with all divisions. Alex is also teaching the 4th term Middle School course, Theatre Arts & Design. Our own Ian Pelto ‘10, now a senior at Colorado College, will continue to serve as Production Carpenter and Scene Shop Manager. Local theatre artist June Barfield will work with the student production team facilitating set design and scene painting. One of my good friends and a long-time friend and “retired” faculty member of the school, the incomparable Hela Robran will serve as Upper School Makeup and Costuming instructor and Dessert Theatre support.

Our Fine Arts department will also feature adjunct faculty and visiting artists. Jackie Rogers will teach Upper School Darkroom Photography and our own multi-talented, Financial Accountant in the Business Office, Ms. Jody Welch will teach glass torch working for our students this year. Ms. Welch has taught glassmaking workshops for years, her work was featured last year in Flow, an industry magazine, she recently was selected as a scholarship recipient of the flamethrowing community for Glass Stock, and she sells her work in shows and on online at Artistic Endeavors. 

Our stellar Middle School Artist-in-Residence (AiR) program, which has brought many excellent instructors to CSS over that last 8 years, will continue this year. Artists and their courses in visual and performing arts will be announced in early February.

Our Fine and Performing Arts Program will also be enriched by visiting artists presenting guest lessons on a wide variety of topics. Some of the highlights include the Upper School’s field trip to see the musical group ArcAttack create music with Tesla coils. Roger Bessong, a drum maker connected with our sister school in Cameroon will be performing and building drums with all levels of students (pending travel arrangements), and Ormao serve as live figure drawing models for the annual multi-gallery exhibition Dance on Paper.

We would be remiss if we failed to mention that CSS Arts faculty bring life to our campus each and every day – the work of our adjunct faculty would not be possible without the leadership of  Arts Department Chair, Mr. Hans Wolfe (best known for putting CSS on the map for iron pouring) and our masterfully networked drama coordinator, Ms. Sandy Bray. Mr. Wolfe and Ms. Bray will remain the primary contacts for students and parents involved with our adjunct faculty and visiting artists. Mrs. Carol Mayberry will teach K-2 art classes this year as Mrs. Rachel Longstreet champions 3rd -7th grade art classes and Upper School digital photography and video courses. And with a beat in his step, Mr. Brent Moorhead will make music and will contribute his amazing energy to campus as he continues to direct our lively band program.  

Please join me in celebrating the depth and breath of this program, the work of our students and the vision and talent of the arts faculty at CSS. I look forward to seeing you in the audience soon.

CSS Performances - Mark Your Calendars!

Homecoming Revue
October 10, 2014, 7:00 p.m.

Middle School Musical Theatre
October 15, 2014, 6:30 p.m.

Upper School Winter Show
November 21-22, 2014, 7:30 p.m.

Middle School Scenes and Monologues
December 4 & 5, 2014, 6:30 p.m.

Middle and Upper School Winter Band and Choir Concert
December 9, 2014, 6:00 p.m.

Kindergarten - 5th Grade Holiday Tea + 4th/5th Grade Band Concert 
December 11, 2014, 4:00 p.m.

3rd - 5th Grade Dessert Theatre
January 30, 2015, 6:00 p.m.

Middle School Night of Improvisation
February 12, 2015, 6:30 p.m.


2nd-4th Grade Dessert
February 27, 2015, 6:00 p.m.

Kindergarten - 1st Grade Dessert Theatre
March 13, 2015, 4:00 p.m.

Middle School Artist-in-Residence Showcase
March 19, 2015, 2:00 p.m.

Black Forest League Instrumental Music & Band Concert
April 10, 2015, daytime clinics + 7:00 p.m. concert

Middle and Upper School Spring Concert
April 23, 2015, 6:00 p.m.

Children’s School Celebration of the Arts Assembly
April 24, 2015, 2:00 p.m.

Middle School Theatre Arts & Design
April 30, 2015, 3:15p.m.

Upper School Spring Show
May 1-2, 2015, 7:30 p.m.

All the best,

Aaron Schubach

 

 
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