Last, Seniors sang Y el Pasto Verde Crecía Alrededor, a song about a tree in a city. More videos of the Spanish performances, as well as some great poetry from Primary Two, to come later this week.
On Friday, we had the privilege of a visit from Robert Jospé and Kevin Davis of World Beat Workshop. This special assembly was amazing to listen to and great fun for everyone who attended. We even got to form a conga line in the Big Room! Thank you so much to them for visiting us, and to the Virginia Commission For The Arts for helping fund this project. From the World Beat Workshop website:
The World Beat Workshop with drummer Robert Jospé and percussionist Kevin Davis engages audiences of all ages in exploring the diaspora of West African rhythms in the Americas and their influence in current music styles. Using a map, percussion instruments and music charts, this interactive program includes clapping, dancing and singing to salsa, calypso, merengue, samba and hip-hop. Musical, historical, cultural and geographical information is brought to life with the journey of clave.
Here is some of what we heard at Friday’s performance:
Some of the seniors play a familiar tune with Charlotte:
On Friday, to celebrate the book fair, students and teachers dressed as their favorite book character. We had quite the range of costumes, from Anne of Green Gables to Star Wars to the Hunger Games. At 11:30, ten teachers lined up, drew their partners out of a hat, and ran a three-legged race. Jessie and Genevieve won – this makes two rubber chickens for Jessie. She may be unstoppable. Thank you to all of the teachers, for participating! Thanks to Primary Two and Natasha for the lovely finish line banner. The video is after the pictures.
Friday, October 19th was our fourth annual Grandparent’s Day. It was a smashing success with over 60 families attending. Grandparents spent part of the day observing classes, being read to by grandchildren, taking tours of the school and grounds, and hearing presentations. We ended with a special Grandparent’s assembly. The Juniors sing the song that opens the video. (I’m sorry not to include the video of them, but I was perched in a loft, which made for very shaky filming). Thanks to Bonnie, Stuart and Lyna for their great photos of the day.
On Tuesday, the Middle Schoolers debated Who Really Discovered America?” The students presented twelve different people or groups, all demanding credit for the discovery. Which one will convince you? You might be surprised. Watch the video below and then decide what you think. The audience included family members and the Senior class, who took notes and voted on the group they found most believable. Update, 10/12/12: the Solutreans won the vote!
What could I possibly say that would do justice to the ceremony on Friday night? This year’s graduation was the 27th year of graduating 8th graders and the start of North Branch’s 30th year. We said goodbye to five graduates and to Michael, our beloved senior and art teacher. There were happy and sad tears and also a lot of laughter. I ended up with so much video from the evening I split it into two parts. Here’s the first one!
Special thanks to Jennifer Stuart for working with the 7th and 8th graders to compose the graduation song used in the video.
Jess Tucker, our Juniors teacher, is moving to West Virginia. We wish him happy travels, and the best of luck in his new job. The Senior class, along with Jennifer, wrote this beautiful song in honor of Jess.
Everyone sings goodbye:
The middle school performed their spring play today in two performances. This year’s play was Is he dead? by Mark Twain. The play was recently discovered by a scholar in 2003. The students did a wonderful job – the play was very funny and had a beautiful set and costumes. There were great lines, such as: “Oh. and have my horses polished. They’re looking a little dingy”and (Chicago referring to Millet’s feminine clothes) “You’re going to need more practice in those duds. You’re walking like a busted mare.” Millet was a real artist; the students created several versions of his paintings for use in the play. Congratulations to everyone involved!
Here is Ben Brantley’s plot summary from The New York Times review:
“Set in and near Paris in 1846, “Is He Dead?” presents a lineup of cultural and farcical stereotypes, seen with the wide-eyed-with-a-wink gaze that Twain brought to “The Innocents Abroad,” the travel memoir that made him solvent. At the show’s center is Jean-François Millet (no, the name is not a coincidence), a brilliant but unrecognized painter…Since Jean-François can’t sell a landscape to save his life (literally), his inner circle of bohemian friends — an ethnic stew made up of an American…a German…and an Irishman…convince him that faking his death is just the ticket for raising his stock. So Jean-François disappears from life and re-emerges as his imaginary twin sister, a widow both mad and madcap. The expected complications ensue.”
In case you missed it, here is an interview with Charlotte Zinsser Booth, Head of School, on the radio: