Encore performance this week for part of the cast of Lafayette Elementary‘s recent musical! From Luckie:
Lafayette Elementary was invited to performed a scene from this year’s school play, “The Barnyard Musical Mystery,” at the May 20 Seattle Public Schools board meeting in the John Stanford Center auditorium. It was broadcast live on Channel 26 (see the archived video above).
“The Barnyard Musical Mystery” is a one-hour play written by Lafayette Elementary parent Laurie Utterback, who also directed it along with fellow parent volunteer Joel Oltyan and Lafayette’s multi-arts teacher Melia Scranton. A cast of 80 students in third through fifth grade rehearsed after school once a week beginning in January, and performed the play on May 7, 8, and 9 at the Chief Sealth International High School auditorium.
The performers at Wednesday’s school board meeting:
Jane, grade 5
Daisy, grade 4
Audrey, grade 4
Millie, grade 4
Zhaiarah, grade 4
Mason, grade 5
Myah, grade 4
Stella, grade 4
Jordan, grade 4
Lafayette Elementary is very proud of the dedication, enthusiasm, and teamwork shown by all of its talented young actors!
Looking for summer options for kid(s) 7-12? How about a West Seattle summer songwriting camp, taught by two acclaimed local musicians? They’re sponsoring WSB right now to get the word out, and here’s what they’d like you to know:
What makes this music camp unique, is that it’s the first of its kind, a SONGWRITING camp, for children this age. Kelli Frances Corrado (above left) and Ivory Smith (above right) worked for over six years at various rock camps and schools, none of which taught students how to write their own songs. While it is important to learn technique and theory, the value of empowering the individual creative voice is essential, not only in making music, but for childhood development.
We are pursued by parents not only because of our teaching history but our experience as songwriters. We are active professional songwriters. Our resumes cover a wide range of experience from college training, performance, touring, recording, radio play, to receiving grants. For example, Ivory has scored numerous pieces for performances at On The Boards and ACT Theaters, has vocal training from Cornish, and has written songs with many ensembles including her band Ivory In Ice World. Kelli is a touring musician who writes songs that have been featured on various radio stations from KEXP to BBC6, and in 2014 received a grant from the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture to teach a songwriting camp for young women.
Kelli and Ivory’s summer songwriting camp has two week-long sessions in West Seattle in August – get the details here, including how to register.
We thank the West Seattle summer songwriting camp taught by Ivory Smith and Kelli Frances Corrado for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
Planning to see the about-to-open movie “Tomorrowland“? You’ll be watching the work of a West Seattle native.
It’s co-written and executive-produced by Jeff Jensen, who grew up in West Seattle and went to Hope Lutheran School and Seattle Lutheran High School.
(Photo of Jeff Jensen, courtesy Mike Jensen)
That news is courtesy of Jeff’s proud brother Mike Jensen, who got to join his brother at the recent world premiere of “Tomorrowland” at the home of the film’s namesake, Disneyland. (The movie, starring George Clooney, is NOT about that part or any part of Disneyland, however.)
You might know Jeff Jensen already for his writing – which most recently has included what he called a “distant prequel” to the movie, “Before Tomorrowland.” He’s particularly well-known for what he’s written about the TV series “Lost.”
You will be able to watch this movie co-written by a West Seattleite without leaving West Seattle – it’ll be at The Admiral Theater starting Friday. (Jeff Jensen pointed that out on his Twitter feed.)
Members of the West Seattle High School Band and Orchestra, directed by Ethan Thomas, are wrapping up an extended-weekend trip to California – thanks to Band Booster President Steve White for the report and photos:
Our first stop after arriving at LAX (on Friday) was at the LA Farmers’ Market – where both the orchestra and band (above) performed.
We (then were) on our way to a local college for a clinic and some music instruction, then a group dinner at Medieval Times.
Saturday was spent at Disneyland, with a recording session in the evening, where the students experienced recording a soundtrack for a movie clip.
Sunday there were performances in the park by both groups [orchestra above] and more free time at the park.
Monday morning, both groups will take a tour of Hollywood and the Dolby Theater, then spend the afternoon at the Santa Monica Pier before returning home.
(Telekinesis, one of the bands playing Hood-To-Hood Day in West Seattle)
One week ago, we reported the date, and a few details, for the Hood-To-Hood Challenge victory party that KEXP is throwing in West Seattle – because people here gave more money to the station during that specific donation drive last year than residents of any other local neighborhood. Today, KEXP revealed more about who’s playing and what’s happening:
After winning KEXP’s annual Hood-to-Hood Challenge by a razor-thin margin of $100 in 2014, West Seattle will host KEXP’s Hood-to-Hood Day on Friday, May 29.
KEXP welcomes music lovers from all neighborhoods to join us from noon to 6:00 p.m. for a free live broadcast of The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters and The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, featuring live performances by John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats, Australian band Miami Horror, Hop Along, and Telekinesis, plus a free street festival with bands, booths, and a beer garden.
After 6:00 p.m., KEXP DJs will take over bars and restaurants throughout West Seattle, spinning diverse, upbeat sets until the night concludes with a showcase at the Skylark Lounge featuring SISTERS, Fauna Shade, and Bod, as well as the Feedback Lounge with artists TBA.
The street festival will be in The Junction, with California closed to vehicles between Oregon and Alaska for the occasion. Last year was the first time in five years that West Seattle won the Hood-To-Hood Challenge.
ADDED 11:14 PM: A few more details are on KEXP’s website, including the band schedule for the live broadcasts during the day.
(WSB photo: February marquee message at The Admiral, announcing the renovation plan)
The city-landmark Admiral Theater says its renovations – announced in February – are finally about to begin. It’s just announced that “two new state-of-the-art NEC Digital Laser Projectors will be installed early next month.” The theater’s announcement explains:
Laser technology offers an unparalleled viewing experience that is brighter, crisper and highlights the intensity of colors unlike traditional digital cinema projectors. In addition, moviegoers watching 3D films will view an image much brighter than is seen in systems now in use.
Utilizing a laser light source in lieu of traditional projector bulbs also extends the life of the projector and eliminates gradual dimming of images as a bulb begins to wear out.
“Everything we will be doing as a part of this renovation is designed to create a superior viewing experience and facility that while functionally modern, respects viewer comfort and the historical character of the theater,” said Jeff Brein of Far Away Entertainment, which operates and manages the theater. “We wanted the very best and latest projection technology to accompany what we’re planning with seating, sound, carpeting, new restrooms our concessions area and historical preservation. These initial laser projectors represent a first step in a journey that will culminate in a beautiful neighborhood theater.”
The permitting process for the Admiral will soon begin with the City of Seattle, while discussions with historical and neighborhood groups will be well underway this summer.
The Admiral says it’s now hoping to have renovations complete by this year’s holiday season.
With a bigger emphasis on the musical portion of the event, the line-up includes some of the hottest bands in the Northwest including The Thermals, The Cave Singers, La Luz, Sisters, VOX MOD, “S,” Kithkin, The Fame Riot, and West Seattle’s own DJ Lance Romance among others. This FREE 3-day party in the streets celebrates West Seattle as a thriving music and arts community.
You can catch more than 20 artists performing on the California main stage all weekend from up-and-coming artists like Pig Snout (a father & his two kids-that ROCKS), NAVVI, Solvents, Evening Bell to Seattle music heavy hitters like Gibraltar, Sisters, and Black Whales.
Here’s a YouTube playlist put together by The Junction. And – the schedule:
With construction winding down at Spruce, the mixed-use project that filled what for years was “The Hole,” the sidewalk along 39th SW is open and that provides a view of the plaza on what is actually a bit of city parkland along the corner where Fauntleroy/Alaska/39th meet. At the heart of the plaza, art by Lezlie Jane, the West Seattle artist whose creations grace other spots including Constellation, Cormorant Cove, Weather Watch, and Dakota Place Parks.
We first reported her role in this project when the “public benefit” package for Spruce – required because it includes an “alley vacation” – went to the Seattle Design Commission in December 2012. You can see the concept for the “medallion” in our coverage of the meeting, and how it’s turning out, above, and below in our quick walkaround captured in a 15-second Instagram video clip (we focused on the wording around its perimeter, which includes an explanation of the bear, if you don’t know that part of West Seattle history on sight):
Our visit to the site this afternoon was inspired by the announcement of next Tuesday’s Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting – JuNO director René Commons mentioned it while saying the group will talk about the mini-park’s future, as well as other public/green space issues, at 6:30 pm Tuesday, at the Senior Center of West Seattle.
(WSB photo from 2010 Hood-To-Hood Challenge party in West Seattle)
The full announcement isn’t until next Tuesday, but KEXP is offering a sneak peek of the details locked in for the West Seattle’s Hood-To-Hood Challenge victory party – first one here since 2010. Every year, fundraising drive, KEXP offers the party as a prize to the neighborhood that yields the most money during its summer fundraising drive, and last time West Seattle came out on top – a narrow victory, 100 dollars or so, but a win it was, so KEXP is planning the big bash here for Friday, May 29th.
KEXP’s Jeff Vetting tells WSB that one block of California SW will be closed to motorized vehicles that day, between Alaska and Oregon. The fun will include KEXP DJs broadcasting live, including West Seattleite Kevin Cole in the afternoon. Live music is planned on a stage that’ll be set up at SW Alaska – the full lineup isn’t public yet, except for Australia’s Miami Horror, which will be here as part of its U.S. tour. Then 6-9 pm, more KEXP DJ action at venues around West Seattle, followed by band showcases around town starting at 9 pm. Full announcement during Kevin’s show on KEXP next Tuesday (2-6 pm) – the bands, the venues, the extras.
‘Barnyard Musical Mystery’: All invited to Lafayette Elementary’s production Thursday-Saturday nights at CSIHS AuditoriumMay 6, 2015 at 2:38 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment
(Photo courtesy of ‘Barnyard Musical Mystery’ production advisers)
It’s not just a school play – Lafayette Elementary‘s production is an original musical written by a West Seattle resident. Here’s the announcement – and even if you’re not associated with the school, we’re told, you are by all means invited to come cheer the student performers and their grownup helpers:
This year’s Lafayette school play is “The Barnyard Musical Mystery,” presented May 7, 8, and 9 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Chief Sealth International High School.
The award for Best Exhibit at the County Fair is a shiny new tractor, and Miss Lucy hopes to win it by exhibiting her prize carrots. But something’s afoot: a spooky creature is haunting Miss Lucy’s garden, scaring away her farmhands and keeping them from tending the crops! To solve the mystery, Miss Lucy calls in Hamhock Holmes and Dr. Dachshund, the famous pig detective and her canine assistant. Holmes and Dachshund investigate the case, with help from dancing bees, timid rabbits, sassy singing hens, crooning raccoons, and prankster goats.
Meanwhile, at the farm down the road, Farmer Jacky and his minions plot to make sure Farmer Jacky’s beloved giant pumpkin will win the prize instead.
Will Holmes and Dachshund find an explanation for the mystery? Who will win the shiny new tractor?
Written by Laurie Utterback and directed by Melia Scranton, Laurie Utterback, and Joel Oltyan, The Barnyard Musical Mystery features an enthusiastic cast of 81 Lafayette students in grades 3 through 5. Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $1 per ticket to help cover production expenses.
Chief Sealth IHS is at 2600 SW Thistle.
From the seats to the stage, Chief Sealth International High School‘s Multicultural Night filled the campus Galleria with sights and sounds on Thursday night.
Dance, music, and costumes enthralled all who came to be part of it.
Even the tables were decorated.
Brightest sights of all … the smiles.
Along with student performances, the annual event offered free food and an open invitation to the entire community to attend, not just students and their families. It was part of Spring Spirit Week at Sealth, which concluded tonight with the Spring Fling dance.
One more big school event to which you’re invited this week – tomorrow (Thursday, April 30th), Chief Sealth International High School opens the door to the community for Multicultural Night. 6-8 pm at the Sealth Galleria, it’s “our annual celebration of diversity at Sealth and is a fun event with student performances, free food and a great chance to see what our clubs and programs have been working on this year,” according to CSIHS’s Sarah Martin (who also provided the photo above, from a previous Multicultural Night). No RSVP needed – just show up. The Galleria entrance is off the courtyard between the main building and gym, north of the parking lot, at 2600 SW Thistle.
(Photo courtesy Mark)
Have you seen the sign? ALKI, spelled out with 53 rocks in the 59th SW median south of Admiral Way. We noticed it in passing last week and tweeted a photo, but got caught up in other things and didn’t get around to mentioning it here. Since then, though several other people have called it to our attention, and wondered whose work it is – we don’t know either, so we’re publishing the photo to ask if YOU know!
It was another chapter for Easy Street Records in The Junction in the rock ‘n’ roll history books: A raucous conclusion to Record Store Day 2015, with legendary, regrouped The Sonics performing a benefit show announced only a day and a half earlier:
If you don’t know their backstory – which spans half a century, and then some – this might help.
The benefit was for KEXP’s new HQ, with tickets at $100 each – and it was promised that surprise guests would make the price more than worth it. We couldn’t stay past the first few songs and are excruciatingly regretful to have missed said guests, who turned out to include Eddie Vedder (photo, photo) and Mike McCready from Pearl Jam, Chris Ballew (photo) from The Presidents, Matt Lukin (photo) from Mudhoney and The Melvins, Emily Nokes (photo) from Tacocat … and more. Video of the guest performances will certainly surface – KEXP was shooting, as were countless phone-hoisting showgoers. The Sonics, meantime, are touring to support their first record in half a century, “This Is The Sonics,” which brought them to ESR just last month for a signing party.
ADDED 11:34 AM: No one else had uploaded to YouTube by the time we went off duty this morning, but that’s changed since then. Thanks to those who pointed this out to us – the upload is by @marnankev2:
ADDED 1:48 PM: Another perspective – during the show, outside Easy Street. Artist Joshua Boulet says he was in The Junction to catch the Route 50 bus when he drew the crowd:
He also made a quick drawing of Junction-based Seattle Fire Engine 32, which was outside for a while (it left the same time we did) on safety patrol:
(You might recall his drawing of SFD firefighters at work in our coverage of a Beach Drive fire last fall.)
ADDED SUNDAY NIGHT: Charles R. Cross‘s review of the “magic night” is up at SeattleTimes.com.
The biggest day of the year at Easy Street Records in The Junction started around sunrise, and it’s not over yet. It’s Record Store Day around the world, and that means specials and surprises at Easy Street, which is staying open well into the night for the occasion. Part of the fun – guest DJ’s, including one of West Seattle’s resident rock stars:
Chris Ballew of The Presidents of the United States of America and Caspar Babypants fame was the guest DJ at mid-afternoon. If you drop by between now and 8 pm, Troy Nelson of The Young Evils and KEXP is scheduled to be DJ’ing, followed by Kevin Cole (also of KEXP) until about 9. Then at 10 pm – a benefit for KEXP as announced on Friday – The Sonics, live (maybe you recognized them in the photo behind Chris B, above?). Online tickets have sold out, according to the KEXP website, which suggests calling ESR to see if there’s room. (Surprise guests are promised; ESR’s Facebook page says Mark Pickerel will be among them.)
Just a little more than a week until “Art for Food” at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, benefiting White Center Food Bank, which also serves part of West Seattle. The event is 6-8 pm on Friday, April 24th, WCFB’s Kristina Dahl explains: “Not only does it benefit the food bank, but it’s a fun after- work event with live music from West Seattle jazz trio The Ellis Brothers, held in the wonderful Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, with art from many West Seattle artists (including Peggy Abby, who is co-hosting this event with us). There will be wine (21+) and cheese available also, but the event is open to all ages. We are still welcoming art donations, volunteers at the event, and of course hope that many people from our community will buy tickets and come join us in the fun.” Buy your ticket right here, right now.
(WSB photos by Torin Record-Sand)
This month’s West Seattle Art Walk is on until 9 pm – and at one of the stops, Twilight Gallery and Boutique (4306 SW Alaska), you’ll find Rebecca Rose and her wearable sculptures. It’s opening night for her show “The Spinster and the Carpenter.” If you can’t get there tonight, you’ll also find her giving a talk on Saturday night (April 11th), 6-8 pm. The full list of tonight’s Art Walk venues is in our daily preview published this morning; we’ll add scenes from a few more stops soon.
8:28 PM: At Emerald Water Anglers (42nd/Oregon; WSB sponsor), Little Edie‘s performing bluegrass:
At C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), Mary McGough‘s show has a story behind its title “True Start“:
As noted in the announcement, it’s her first solo show, decades after she showed art at Seattle Center while in kindergarten!
P.S. Missed tonight’s Art Walk? It’s on the second Thursday of the month, year-round, so make plans to explore venues and meet artists on May 14th. You can also refer to the aforementioned venue list while you’re out and about in the days ahead – many shows stay up for the rest of the month at participating locations.
FOLLOWUP: West Seattle filmmakers get ready for world premiere of ‘Drawing the Tiger,’ 7 years in the makingApril 8, 2015 at 11:19 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments
After seven years of work, West Seattle filmmakers Amy Benson and Scott Squire (left & center in photo) are now just three weeks away from the world premiere of their completed film “Drawing the Tiger.” When we first featured it here almost two and a half years ago, its working title was “The Girl Who Knew Too Much,” but what began as the heartbreaking story of a Nepalese girl whose one-in-a-million chance at an education ended in her suicide, evolved into a story with many more layers. We found out about the project’s evolution when we covered the Washington Global Issues Network youth-led conference at Chief Sealth International High School last month; Benson was a keynoter, and we featured her speech and project in our report. She also told its story in a TEDx talk captured on video last year:
The change in their story also meant a change in funding, as suddenly they were no longer telling “a globalization success story.” Instead, as Benson explains in the TEDx talk above, Squire says, “This film is, in the modest world of documentary films, kind of a unique thing – it’s subtle and observational and not at all an advocacy film. However, it was made with the goal of opening up the conversation of how we ‘in the west’ DO global aid. How, and how well do we account for the new vulnerabilities that arise when radical opportunities are proffered? It’s so important that we help, we believe, but stories like Shanta’s tell us we must consider how we can conduct our interventions more holistically.”
So the couple pressed on, scrapping together backing any place they could find it. Earlier this week, Squire e-mailed us with an update on their timeline and on their push for completion via crowdfunding. By the time we could write this story, they had already passed their goal – but if you’ve ever tried to raise money for something, you know that more always helps. Their Kickstarter campaign is open until Friday. The premiere is April 29th at the Hot Docs festival in Toronto, which Squire says is “one of the two most important doc fests in the world.” They are hopeful the U.S. premiere will be here in Seattle – nothing finalized yet but they promise an update once it is.
(WSB photos: District visual/performing-arts manager Gail Sehlhorst leading students in an exercise)
A break from routine on Tuesday at West Seattle’s Sanislo Elementary … and it all traced back to the founder of the world’s most famous breakfast-cereal company. In honor of the birthday of Will Keith Kellogg, people who had gained leadership training via the Kellogg Foundation fanned out for a Day of Service – and Sanislo was among the stops. Among the Kellogg Fellows visiting Sanislo to provide a day of arts education was Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland, reading “Stone Soup” to students via his iPad:
Another Kellogg Fellow who worked with the Sanislo students, Dr. Lora-Ellen McKinney, who is working with the district to facilitate enrichment experiences:
The day’s theme was “Compassionate Leadership,” and the visiting fellows were joined by Seattle Art Museum teaching artists in using the arts to help students work on those skills. Among them, Regan Pro, SAM’s manager of school and educator programs, who showed kindergarteners Malcah Zeldis‘s triptych of the life of President Abraham Lincoln:
The day’s theme was also meant to underscore the district’s Creative Advantage program to bring more arts into the schools; a new South-Southwest Pathway for arts is expected to include Sanislo. The school’s visual-arts teacher Andrew Wakefield was part of today’s programming, as was librarian/teacher Craig Seasholes.
Diverse Harmony, ‘first queer/straight alliance youth chorus,’ performing free concert Saturday in West SeattleApril 6, 2015 at 6:32 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments
That’s a recent performance by the small ensemble that’s part of Diverse Harmony, a youth chorus that has a place in history. The singers are coming to West Seattle this Saturday night for a free concert:
Diverse Harmony comes to West Seattle!
Saturday, April 11, 7:00 pm, at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist
Diverse Harmony is the Nation’s First Queer/Straight Alliance Youth Chorus. Based in Seattle and now in its 13th season, the chorus is comprised of young people, both queer and straight, and “…presents music that opens the hearts and minds of communities and provides a safe environment for youth of diverse backgrounds to share their love of music and be accepted for who they are.” This year Diverse Harmony added a young adult small ensemble, called DH Spectrum, to the family.
The concert will start at 7:00 PM and will include the large chorus and small ensemble. Please come out to enjoy the music and support these talented young people. The performance is FREE and is open to the entire community. Learn more about the chorus at www.DiverseHarmony.org
St. John’s is at 3050 California SW, next to West Seattle High School.
In addition to the regular run, you have the option of seeing the closing-night performance on April 10th as part of the annual benefit:
Your ticket for the April 10th benefit event also includes:
Gourmet dessert from Essential Baking Company and beverage of your choice (pre-show and during intermission!)
Pajama Game photo booth pictures
Priority seating for benefit ticket holders
You can buy your ticket(s) online by going here – or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Northwest rock legends The Sonics, who broke up going on a half-century ago, are back, and you can meet them right now at Easy Street Records in The Junction. As explained on the Easy Street website, “This Is The Sonics,” their first record since the mid-’60s, “reunites original members Jerry Roslie, Larry Parypa and Rob Lind, backed by the powerhouse rhythm section of Freddie Dennis (The Kingsmen, The Liverpool Five) and Dusty Watson (Dick Dale, Agent Orange).” They’re signing the new record in a meet-and-greet at Easy Street (California/Alaska) until 9 pm; Thursday, they play The Moore with Mudhoney, and ESR is raffling two tickets at tonight’s event (which is free).
VIDEO: How do you follow up an ‘incredibly record-breaking’ season? Watch and listen as ArtsWest shows off 2015-2016 slateMarch 31, 2015 at 9:31 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Before ArtsWest looked ahead last night with the grand unveiling of its 2015-2016 season, there was a moment to look back:
Artistic director Mathew Wright said that season-to-season, attendance had jumped dramatically, for “an incredibly record-breaking season” – from just under 11,000, to just over 14,000, and that for “2,689 of those folks, it was their first time coming to see a show at ArtsWest.”
But the spotlight was on what lies ahead – the first full-season slate Wright has chosen as artistic director, a role he has had since last summer. In her introduction of Wright, managing director Laura Lee hailed the “collaborative process” of theater making “great and wonderful things happen. .. I’m incredibly proud of what we’re going to do next year.”
In addition to excerpts and songs, the announcement show included sit-down conversations with guests from other theaters around the city. The stage was set with the first guest, Kristin Leahey of Seattle Rep, for a conversation about season planning: “It can be tricky to figure out what kind of theater to put on our stages.” They talked briefly about the place of live theater in today’s society. She listed its attributes as connecting with other audience members, a “utopian moment” during a performance, “that we’re feeling with others in the audience.”
And then, to the slate: Six works “organized around a central question” that he said dated back to his time in college “in post-9/11 America.” Wright and friends tried to effect cultural revolution but didn’t. Eventually, he said, he took a cross-country road trip to Seattle. “I discovered how huge America is, and how beautiful it is.”
The question – “what is it that unites us as a people today in this country?” The answer, on a screen behind him: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness/or/Success.
First, a Tony-nominated musical as the season-opener, “Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’,” September 10th-October 11th, based on the group’s platinum album, telling the tale of friends struggling to find meaning in the post-9/11 world. ArtsWest will be one of the first regional theaters to stage it, Wright said. Two numbers from “American Idiot” were performed for the full house of invited guests last night – here’s “21 Guns”:
(The singers were Devon Busswood, Diana Huey, Chance Michael Eldridge, EmilyRose Frasca, Isaiah Crowson, Jeff Orton, Tori Spero, Sara Porkalob, Stacie Calkins, Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako, Ann Cornelius, Chelsea LeValley, Brian Lange, Brent Moury, Mark Tyler Miller, Frederick Hagreen, Saxton Walker, Janet McWilliams.)
West Seattle schools: Community performance planned for ‘Wizard of Oz’ featuring Gatewood first-gradersMarch 27, 2015 at 11:47 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 4 Comments
The book is 115 years old. The movie, 76 years old. But “The Wizard of Oz” as a story is ageless and timeless .. as evidenced by the Gatewood Elementary first-graders’ production. It was staged the past two mornings, but if you didn’t happen to be in the audience, there’s good news – a performance has been added, in the evening on April 7th, with the community invited to see it! More on that shortly. First, parent Jena Inghram shared photos and information about the production:
Their amazing veteran teacher, Mrs. Donna Schwendeman, has spent the last month helping her first-graders prepare for their own musical production of “The Wizard of Oz”. This has been a huge labor of love for our kids and she has put in many many hours of her own time.
A little bit about what they learned along the way…
In preparation for this play, Donna read aloud The Wizard of Oz while the students drew mental images of the story to share out each day. They viewed the movie and discussed the characters in depth. Each student received a full script that was read aloud in class. Students were asked to list 3 characters that they were interested in playing and were cast accordingly. Donna arranged for a field trip experience to see a production of Cinderella…they discussed and critiqued it. A professional actor was invited to Room 2 to discuss his experiences and to teach theater technique (voice projection, etc.). Students and families came together and assisted in set and costume design.
Parent comment: These first graders are amazing- all of them! They sing a capella solos…And read, memorize, and follow along with a huge script. They remember props and cues better than the adults and remind us when we mess up! And especially to the kids who aren’t in as many scenes, they have had to wait patiently during the many hours of rehearsals supporting their peers who had more speaking parts. These kids proposed creative ideas about the set and the costumes and they helped manifest them. What an amazing experience, Mrs. Donna Schwendeman has given this lucky class of first graders. We are all so grateful for the creativity and the exposure to the arts that she brings to Gatewood.
Now, about the community performance, added, Jena says, after so much great feedback about the play: 6:30-7:30 pm Tuesday, April 7th, in the cafeteria at Gatewood (4320 SW Myrtle), with $5 admission at the door, a donation to start an arts fund at the school.
Thanks to West Seattle High School teacher Rebecka McKinney for sharing photos and info on a big event this past week – the biggest-ever Diversity Dinner organized by the WSHS Diversity Club, with more than 200 people attending, the largest turnout ever, and performances including members of the wider community as well as students:
The night started at 6 p.m. with a wide variety of cultural food that people brought to share. There were many cultures represented with a variety of dishes that included pad Thai, injera, lasagna, pupusas, pan dulce, rice and beans, lumpia and many more.
“It was a great turnout, even more than I expected,” said senior Diversity Club co-president Emily Fiso. “It was a great atmosphere, seeing different cultures interact with each other.”
After everyone got food, the entertainment began with the WSHS Latino Club.
They performed the punta dance. This group included WSHS seniors Shaneen Walter-Edwards, Brian Silva and Maaza Tsegai.
“It meant a lot to me to be able to perform because there’s not very many Hondurans in Seattle,” said Walter-Edwards. “I was happy to share my culture.”
Next was an Eritrean dance group that performed a Tigrinya dance.
This group included three WSHS students as well.
After the Eritrean dance, the WSHS Chinese class performed a traditional Lion Dance.
Chinese teacher, Su-Chun King, put this performance together.
Mahelet Wondie from Chief Sealth High School followed this with a spoken word piece on Africans and Americanization.
WSHS senior Kate Longabaugh followed that with a traditional Irish dance piece:
Next up was a local mariachi band that was made up of students and adults, some of who attend Chief Sealth:
The Mt. Rainier and Kennedy High School Pacific Islander Club followed this up with two Samoan dances and one Hawaiian dance.
“It was nice to be able to see my own culture represented,” said Fiso, a Samoan student who invited the club to perform. “I like how they brought a different energy to the crowd and everyone was involved.”
The final group of the night was the Northwest Tap Connection African class performing the kuku. This group included performers from age 5-17, led by Ms. Lakema Bell.
“I thought it was really nice that the African dance class could incorporate that type of dancing with people of all ages,” said senior attendee Shaheeda Kariko.
The night ended with a cultural fashion show that represented many of the cultures of WSHS.
This included Irish, Filipino, Somalian, Ethiopian, Yakima Nation, Samoan, Nigerian, Namibian, Eritrean, Moroccan, and Mexican.
“I was really happy to help bring different communities together,” said junior Diversity Club co-president Meron Mulu. “This was the first year we reached out to connections our students had outside of West Seattle. It’s not only important to celebrate culture, but it’s fun.”
See a list of WSHS’s many cultural, service, and interest groups/clubs on the school website.
Dancing, drumming, and dinner were part of the festivities last night at Highland Park Elementary, as Native community members, family, and friends gathered for a Traditional Mini Pow Wow. We photographed Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen after the blessing she gave to open the event:
This was the second year of the event.
The group Niksokowaak – “all my children, all my relatives” – organized the Pow Wow.
From Laura Martin with West Seattle HS‘s Music Boosters – if you weren’t there, her reader report and photos show you what happened at the Big Band Dinner Dance!
There was an impressive amount of talent on display at West Seattle High School last Friday night! Guests attending the annual Big Band Dinner Dance dined on a gourmet meal prepared by students in the Culinary Arts program, and danced to top-notch big band music performed by students in the Jazz Ensemble [below].
Dancers of all ages also had a lot of fun swing dancing to the fabulous music of the West Seattle Big Band [below], who performed at the event, and who very generously support the music program at West Seattle High School.
Led by WSHS teacher Danielle Warman [front/center below], students in the ProStart Culinary Arts program prepared a beautiful and delicious buffet of entrees, salads and side dishes for over 150 guests.
After dinner the Culinary Arts students followed up by serving delectable desserts. Guests raved about the dinner, as behind the scenes, 25 students prepped, cooked, plated, and served.
Under the direction of Music Teacher Ethan Thomas, the Jazz Ensemble performed a range of pieces that quickly brought the audience to the dance floor. Jazz Ensemble students rehearse daily for an hour before school for the entire school year, and nearly all of the students also are enrolled in a regular band or orchestra class period during the day.
The proceeds from this fundraising event will help fund travel expenses for orchestra, band and jazz band students to participate in music competitions and festivals. Thanks to everyone who attended and made this event such a success and so much fun!
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