Kyla Manja ’21 & Christian Manja ’22 earned full scholarships to Berklee’s Summer Global String Program. As part of the program, they studied under the direction of David Wallace, chair of Berklee’s String Department, while they explored in-depth a wide variety of string styles, including folk, jazz, bluegrass, classical, old-time, and Celtic. Please enjoy their final performance below.
As we enter into the final weeks of the school year, please come to campus and support the arts. All are welcome to attend.
Here is a list of our upcoming events.
|MS/US String Orchestra||Wednesday, May 1||7:00pm||Dyer Auditorium (US Campus)|
|MS/US Band||Friday, May 10||7:00pm||Dyer Auditorium (US Campus)|
|MS Choir and Handbells||Tuesday, May 21||7:00pm||Dyer Auditorium (US Campus)|
|MS Chamber Music||Wednesday, May 29||6:00pm||CE Auditorium (LS Campus)|
Nico Colitas ’23 (trombone) and Krish Gupta ’24 (French horn) participated in the PMEA District 10 Intermediate Band Fest on March 20th, which took place at Pocono East Junior High in Swiftwater, PA.
The students were part of a one hundred piece district band, rehearsing all-day and then performing a wonderful concert that evening. Nico and Kish were extremely well-prepared, learning their concert repertoire with great success! The guest conductor was very impressed with the preparation of all participating students.
Congratulations to Nico and Krish!
This year, the company of Moravian Academy Spring Drama proudly presents Alexandre Dumas’ classic The Three Musketeers, a rollicking adventure of camaraderie, bravery, romance, and swashbuckling.
The story follows young d’Artagnan, a foolhardy but brave young man who travels to Paris with dreams of joining the Musketeers of the Guard. With the help of his new friends, the formidable musketeers Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, a journey unfolds through scheming court politics, breathless chase scenes, secrets, rescues, and of course, sword fights. D’Artagnan learns as much about friendship, loyalty, and service as he does about winning duels. Join us in April for a tale that’s part historical fiction, part action adventure!
Auditions are Wednesday, February 13 after school. Those unable to attend are encouraged to audition on Thursday during purple block classes. We look forward to another terrific Spring Play adventure at the Middle School.
(Photo credit: “D’Artagnan, Athos, Aramis, and Porthos” by Maquet)
PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association) District Intermediate Band Fest
Nico Colitas ’23 and Krish Gupta ’24 were both selected to participate in the PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association) District Intermediate Band Fest! Nico plays the trombone and Krish plays the french horn.
The Fest will take place at Pocono Mountain East Junior High School on March 20th, 2019.
PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association) Elementary Band Fest
Oliver Pervizpour ’25 and Faust Capobianco ’26 were both selected to participate in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Elementary Band Fest. Oliver plays both the French horn (Concert Band) and the trumpet (Jazz Band) but was selected for his French horn talent. Faust will play the trumpet in the Fest Band.
The Fest will take place at Easton Middle School on March 29th, 2019.
District 10 Orchestra occurs once a year, usually in January as part of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA). Each district in the state holds auditions for its orchestra every year, open to grades 7 through 12. Those who win a spot in the orchestra have the possibility of going to audition for Regional and All-State orchestras. The competition is fierce. This year, 95 violinists auditioned for 41 spots. Each had to play the first movement of Mozart’s D major Violin Concerto.
Three students from Moravian Academy earned spots in the orchestra: Ryan Cheng ’24, Elena Capobianco ’23, and Krysta Nichols ’21.
District 10 Orchestra will perform on January 11th at Boyertown Area Senior High School.
Last week in assembly, Liz Burke ’19 presented “Dance as a Means for Social Change” and showcased her work entitled “Fire Escape Falling Together,” a site-specific piece that explores how humans find each other in times of need and when they fall, friends fall together. She dedicated the piece to victims of bullying, especially those who may still be in isolation, so that they may know they will be found. A video of her work is below as well an excerpt/ paraphrase from her speech.
Dance as a Means for Social Change
By Liz Burke
The state of the dance industry in America is grim. Dancers often work for far below minimum wage, dance companies still operate under a patriarchal hierarchy rampant with sexual manipulation and abuse, and in order to survive financially, dancers endure long demanding days that lead injuries. Unlike in European countries, there are no government subsidies for working artists, not even for those concurrently seeking an education. The unions hardly alleviate costs of daily classes for its members and they continue to be an un-unified, regressive scam.
I would like to offer a poem by Marissa Perel entitled I Want/I Vomit, where she explores a binary of feelings about the state of the industry. I feel that nothing I can say would be as telling, encompassing, and powerful as this piece.
So I just gave you a pretty grim image. But my hope is that at least you have a deeper understanding of the sacrifices artists make for their work, especially in this society that nearly prevents them from doing their jobs and living a life. Sometimes I feel the need to, as Mr. Riker says it, do some “Art-splaining” when I hear people passing judgment on artists life choices when they don’t know a thing about that experience.
Many industries in America are feeling the power of the #MeToo movement and the dance industry is not exempt. The most recent accusation involves former teen and rising star Miko Fogarty. After winning top prizes at competitions around the world and being featured in the 2011 ballet documentary First Position, Fogarty landed her dream job at the Birmingham Royal Ballet only to leave the ballet world completely after her first season with no explanation. But, perhaps we now have the answer. Earlier this year, Fogarty’s former dance coach world renowned Viktor Kabaniaev was jailed for 16 counts of sexual assault against children. According to a KQED interview, “when Miko heard the news about her former coach, she said she was shocked but not surprised. She said he assaulted her when she was 13, [however,] Miko said it had nothing to do with her decision to quit ballet.” If this wasn’t the sole reason she could convince herself to leave, then there is something really wrong happening here.
We are beginning to see social progress. Before the New York City Ballet’s Fall Gala, principal dancer Teresa Reichlen addressed the audience in regards to the scandal involving three male dancers and company contributors and claims of inappropriate behavior that unfolded over the summer. She said, “We will not put art before common decency, or allow talent to sway our moral compass. We strongly believe that a culture of equal respect for all can exist in our industry.”
Artists throughout history have used their work as a means for social change. This summer, while studying the dance industry in a course at Barnard College, I learned about Alvin Ailey, an American modern dancer and choreographer who started an all-black dance company in New York during the Civil Rights Movement. His masterpiece Revelations set to spiritual hymns sparked social change during the ‘60’s and is still performed regularly today. You can view it in its entirety here.
Today we are seeing dancers inspire change through #movethevote. In collaboration with photographer Rachel Neville, dancers launched a campaign to get people to the polls. Per the website, “We’re not asking for money or for allegiance to a particular candidate. Instead, we need you to make images that will move people to feel, to act, and most importantly, to vote in the midterm elections on November 6. Art can change the way people think. It can also move people to vote.”
Tony and Bessie Award-winning artist Robbie Fairchild recently collaborated on a short film entitled Enough!. The piece features young dancers of color from the National Dance Institute in Harlem addressing the fear that school shootings can inhibit in students. Fairchild felt an obligation to spread a message about school shootings as “the headlines are becoming the norm”. This piece is a call-to-action for those who can vote to do something for the students who can’t, the next generation.
The Dansuer Documentary tackles the stereotype that all male dancers are gay, feminine, weak, and sissies. The documentary tells the story of wildly successful professional dancers like James Whiteside, Derek Dunn, and Harper Waters, as well as some students. They reflect on their experiences dealing with bullying in school, something that unfortunately drives many male dancers to quit their training.
With Youtube and the internet, we are able to see more dance at our fingertips than ever before. With that, we are seeing more choreography from Hip Hop and Contemporary artists like Jojo Gomez and Galen Hooks producing extremely provocative and emotional work for the mass media about abuse of all kinds and female empowerment for the youngest of dancers in their classes.
To close, I wanted to share with you the version of a story my teacher, Ms. Elisabeth, told me. She recalled being told about the first performance of the ballet the Rite of Spring by Ballet Russe in Paris. After the performance, the audience was outraged by the radical music, choreography, and costuming that they accused the artists of being pagans and rioted throughout the city.
“Now I don’t think Elisabeth was trying to get us to get the people of downtown Bethlehem to riot after seeing the variation we were working on, but she was trying to get us to understand in our third hour of class on a Thursday night that our dancing should evoke some feeling and spur some ambition in our audience, one that hopefully aligns with the choreographer’s vision. She told us we were special for being among a select population that can do that for people. She told us we were special. I don’t know how it is in your arts programs but my one teacher told me last night and tells us nearly every day that we will never be perfect and makes us feel like we aren’t ever good enough and so it was so shocking that she called us special and important and vital to the human experience. It is not often that dance is portrayed in such a positive light when there are so many abuses in the industry that young people, for generations, have been forced to accept. I am happy to tell you all that you all shouldn’t have to fear that anymore, and just sit back and let it happen. The industry is changing. There is more and more radical dance being produced and accepted in its own time, and that goes for art of all disciplines.
You Are Special, Please Go Make Art
Artists in the audience, as I know there are beautifully many of you, you are special. Please keep breaking all of the rules and making art that is really your own. Your stories are going to be accepted now, so please bring them to the forefront of everyone’s radar because you deserve to be heard. Please don’t forget to honor those who have come before you who have made sacrifices to their reputation, to their opportunities and connections for you to be able to make art freely and present it. And keep us moving forward. It is a crazy important and pivotal time. Please vote today if you are able. Please make crazy art today if you can’t.”
An exciting performance opportunity is available to Middle School music students who are currently studying with a private music teacher. On Monday, November 19th, the Middle School will hold its annual Fall Recital for the student body in the Cafetorium.
Any students who are regularly studying an instrument or voice with a private teacher and who are ready to perform a solo piece may take part in the recital. This is not to be confused with the Talent Show, which happens later in the year and contains a broader variety of performances.
If interested, the student and student’s parents should communicate with the private teacher to confirm that a piece is ready to be performed. Piano accompaniment can be provided with enough advanced notice. To sign up, contact Mr. Diehl, Dr. Fanning, or Ms. Morrison as soon as possible.
The Middle School Chorus, String Orchestra, Concert Band and Jazz Band all participated in the annual Adjudication Trip to Hershey on Friday, May 4th. Chaperones arrived at 7 East at 5:15 AM and students arrived shortly after. By 5:50 AM, all students and instruments were on three motorcoaches and on their way.
The “Trills and Thrills” adjudication performances took place at Cedar Cliff High School in Camp Hill, PA. Two judges for each performing group provided feedback and numerical scores, which is used to let the directors and students know what sounded good and what can be done to improve their performances in the future. Directed by Mrs. Patrice Kidd, the Middle School Chorus received an excellent rating; director Dr. Rich Fanning and his Concert Band and Jazz Band received excellent ratings as well; director Ms. Chase Morrison and her String Orchestra received the highest award, a superior.
After the performances, the students and chaperones returned to the buses and headed to Hersheypark for a full-day of fun! After a couple years of weather challenges, everyone enjoyed warm weather (85 degrees) and only a few drops of rain.
The students did great work at the adjudication and represented Moravian Academy well at the adjudication site and at the park. The directors and chaperones enjoyed the success of the student musicians at the adjudication, enjoyed seeing the students enjoy themselves at the park, and even enjoyed a few rides themselves.
The buses returned to the Middle School at 7:30 PM. It was a great day and a great way to celebrate the music we have made together this year.
On April 26th, 18 students performed Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for students and the greater community.
Lewis Carroll’s classic story received a reimagining, with original material co-written and devised by Moravian Academy Middle School students! Alice’s boring afternoon studying with her sister is interrupted when a White Rabbit makes off with her cell phone. In journeying down the rabbit hole, she encounters talking animals and talking furniture, drinks tea and eats marshmallows, takes selfies with a Cheshire Cat, and plays lacrosse with the Queen of Hearts.
Thank you, students, for an unforgettable trip through wonderland with us!
(Photo Credit: Lisa Cheung & Amey Owen)
Congratulations to seventh-grader Sophia Trembler who was nominated, applied, and selected to participate in the Junior Honors Choir. She will perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Sophia will travel to NYC for five days in June. Way to go, Sophia!
Please note: The Friday, March 2nd performance of “Into the Woods” has been canceled due to inclement weather. An additional show for Friday night’s ticket holders has been added on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Please bring the Friday evening ticket for admission to the Sunday evening show. If you will not be able to use your ticket, kindly send a message to email@example.com.
The Upper School Department of Theatre has an amazing season in store with March performances of “Into the Woods: The Musical” and April performances of “Cymbeline.”
Into the Woods, the Moravian Academy spring musical, is completely sold out. If you would like to be put on a waiting list, then please contact Marla Strohl, firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you end up with unused tickets, please turn them in to the box office the day of the show or the main office. Our directors and performers have worked tirelessly to present an amazing show and they definitely deserve a packed house. Also, given the traditional excellence of the theater program, the waiting list is long.
See below for more information about the Upper School’s Main Stage Performances
“Into the Woods”
Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s classic of the contemporary musical theatre will make a return to the Moravian Academy Stage in a fresh, new production. Join familiar characters from the minds of the Brothers Grimm as they traverse the dark and unpredictable woods to get their wishes … but what happens when you get what you want?
“Into the Woods” will appear onstage in Dyer Auditorium, Walter Hall, Moravian Academy Merle-Smith Campus, 4313 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem PA 18020. You won’t want to miss this fantastic show!
Director – Mr. Jarrod Yuskauskas
Associate Director – Elizabeth Burke ’19
Choreographer – Katie Keller ’18
Music Director – Dr. Yvonne Robinson
Technical Director – Mr. Rob Riker
Orchestra Conductor – Dr. Richard Fanning
Friday, March, 2nd at 7:30 p.m. – Canceled due to inclement weather
Saturday, March 3rd at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 4th at 2:00 p.m.
Friday, April, 27th at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 28th at 7:30 p.m.
Shortly before the holiday break in December, violinists Yan Yu (’23) and Krysta Nichols (’21) submitted audio recordings of their playing to Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Young Classical Artists’ Competition, open to music students in the state.
Both advanced to the first round, and both performed an audition last weekend at Bloomsburg University live and in person, and both have now been notified that they have become winners, among only a handful of others from the state, and will now perform at the University on May 5th, followed by a recording session on May 6th at WVIA studios for broadcast to the region during the summer or fall of 2018.
A round of applause, please, for these outstanding students!