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I'd Like to Thank the Academy

The fall dance showcase of 2018 has been prepared extensively by the afternoon dance team. Ms. Brieanna Bailey, the faculty member leading afternoon dance talks about the preparation for the showcase, what types of dance the showcase entails, and much more.

(photo credits to flickr)

Q: The dance showcase is coming up soon. Is there a theme for the upcoming showcase?

Yes, the show is called I'd Like to Thank the Academy. A dance concert featuring songs that were nominated or won an academy award.

Q: How many dance performances are in this showcase?

There are 8 dances

(photo credits to flickr)

Q: How long have the dancers been preparing for this showcase? Are there any specific exercises they've done to make themselves more ready for the showcase?

We have been preparing since the start of afternoon option. We have been working on dance technique, core strength, facial expressions, precision and more! We have also worked with the trainer, Katie Klapprodt, on lean muscle and endurance.  This is a challenging activity; we start working directly at 3:45 and end directly at 5:45. The students work for the full 2 hours without stopping and worked hard to present a great show for everyone.

Q: What genres of dance can we expect to see in this showcase?

We can expect to see Hip Hop, Jazz, Lyrical/Ballet and tap that will make more of an appearance than it has in the past.


Q: Is there anything, in particular, we should anticipate this dance showcase?

Just to come and enjoy a well put together show!


Q: What is the most essential element, that a dancer should possess on stage? Does it differ to an important behavior they should have in the studio during rehearsals? An essential element to have as a dancer is focus. Focus on technique, focus on training, focus on the task at hand, focus on what's coming next and focus on the body; what it feels like and how that differs from what it could look like to the audience.




Q: Is there a certain message that the audience should receive from this dance showcase?

We want the audience to come in and have a fun experience. We want them to leave the theatre feeling happy that they saw a well put together production. We want them to see the progress the dancers here at EHS are making and dedication it takes to put on a production.

The Power of the Organ

Mr. Bobby Stubbs, who regularly plays the organ in the chapel, has been playing the organ for 11 years. Learn what he has to say about the organ, the central instrument that builds the chapel atmosphere

Q: How long have you been playing the organ?


I first played an organ at age 13.  I was attending a Catholic school at the time where the community gathered regularly for Mass.  Playing for those Masses was my introduction to the organ. I had already been studying piano for several years.  Interestingly, I had wanted to play the organ since before I started studying piano, but the organist at my church told me I had to learn piano first.  While I enjoyed the organ when I first started playing, I didn't really know much about it other than that I liked the sound and the way it elevates congregational hymn singing.


Q: What would you say is your favorite thing about the organ as an instrument?

I'm not sure I could narrow my love the organ down to one thing. Obviously, the sound is one aspect that compels me. Mozart described the organ as the King of Instruments.  The organ can overpower a symphony orchestra. It can also mimic a symphony orchestra. I love the variety of sounds the organ offers.  As an organist, I can make music with acoustic timbres resembling flute, clarinet, oboe, trumpet, trombone, violin, cello, and many other instruments.  The organ also has sounds unique to itself that I find moving. As one organist I know put it, the organ can roar like a lion one moment and sing like a bird the next.  One major difference between piano and organ is that organists play the pedal keyboard with their feet. I was very dazzled by the sight of this when I first started attending organ recitals as a teenager.





(Continuation)Q: How long have you been playing the organ?


Both the organs at my home church and the Catholic school I attended were electronic.  The first big pipe organ I can remember hearing was at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.  I continued a more serious piano study, and my high school (Gonzaga, in Washington, DC) offered independent piano study as an arts elective, in which I practiced during an entire class period each day.



Each semester, I wrote a proposal of what I wanted to accomplish, kept a daily practice journal, met weekly with the choir director who supervised my study (even though my actual piano teacher was off campus), attended and wrote a paper on a piano concert (often at the Kennedy Center), and performed my own concert during lunch period at the end of the semester.  The summer after my freshman year, I went to organ camp and met 40 other teenage organists. Many of them were studying organ with the same or a greater level of structure than I was studying piano. I returned to organ camp every summer for the rest of high school. It was organ camp that inspired me to major in organ in college. I also did my masters in organ. I've been playing the organ for a living for eleven years.





Q: Is there anything you feel frustrated about the organ?

There are definitely days when I feel frustrated to be an organist.  Finding time to practice in a shared space is one of them. I don't have this problem a lot at Episcopal, but over the years there have been many times when I needed to practice and either people were in the space making lots of noise or there was an event happening the only time I was available, and I didn't get to practice at all.  Every organ is so different. It can be very exciting to get acquainted with a new organ, but this takes time and patience. On most occasions when I travel to play a concert or choir tour or serve as a guest organist at someone else's church or school, this process is rushed, which isn't particularly pleasant.




Q: The organ is always played whenever the community sings in the chapel. Why do you think this instrument is such a significant part of chapel music?

Having organ music before and after worship services is hardly unique to Chapel at Episcopal High School.  It is a practice that has been going on in churches all over the world for centuries. It invites the worshiper to center himself or herself before a service and to take the love of God out into the world afterward. I think whatever one's faith background/experience or lack thereof is, gathering for Chapel three times a week at EHS is an absolute privilege. It strengthens the bonds of community and gives each person an opportunity to pause, breathe, and just be.  Our chaplains do a beautiful job of creating an atmosphere in which all are welcome and valued, no exceptions. This way, everyone, not just Christians, can be nourished and grow in that space. The routine of gathering, listening to scripture, reciting psalms and other prayers together is grounding.  I see the organ as an extension of our life-enhancing ritual.



Q: What do you hope people will get out from your performances?

The organ music before and after chapel ought to invite the congregation member to center herself or himself at the beginning and to share the peace and joy of the gathering with the rest of the world afterwards.  I hope I am able to allow that for at least some people. I also think of organ music as high art, and I try to expose the Episcopal community to a wide variety of composers and styles they might not ever hear outside of our chapel services.  Many students and teachers at EHS love the arts, including classical music, and I hope the musical offerings I provide, which are classical, are to their liking. Perhaps someone who had never heard the organ before will hear it in chapel and become smitten with the sound like I did.



Creating the project of Fashion & Feminism

Photos are source materials Reid used

Fashion has been greatly affected by feminism throughout the years. Read what junior Reid Dixon has to say about her process of creating her independent study regarding fashion throughout the 1960s, and its connection to the 2nd and 4th waves of feminism. 

Q: What is your independent study about?

My independent study, in a form of an essay, is about comparing the 2nd and 4th waves of feminism and seeing the similarities in fashion during those times due to the issues regarding their body shapes that women suffered during those times.

Photo credits to NY Times

Q: What is the name of your essay?

The Fashion of the Sixties and the Connection to the Feminist Movement


Photo credits to ARSTOR

Q: What is the thesis statement of your essay?


As women fought to reclaim control over their bodies, the right to work, and basic women’s rights, fashion followed in the wake adopting styles and shapes that boded better in the workplace and echoing the phases of feminism

Q: What was your process of thinking of this theme for your independent study?

I’ve always been interested in fashion since I was little and I’ve also been interested in feminism issues brought up in the news. I’ve wanted to work on creating something, so that’s why I started this independent study. An aspect of fashion that I like is classic fashion. I like color blocking, elements that are very put together in clean lines, in straight pants and shirts. In short, I like clean and simple clothes, where I can simply add patterns to play with afterwards.


Photo credits to ARSTOR

Photo credits to NY Times

Q: Does your independent study display a connection to yourself as a person?

I think it does, as I’m a person who cares about fashion, and because I consider myself a creative thinker. I could also link my independent study to interior design as well as fashion, which is another subject I’m greatly interested in.


Q: What struggles did you go through while crafting your independent study?

I went through challenges when realizing how much I had to research. For example, on one day, when I thought I would research about the 60’s fashion, I was surprised to see how much historical context I had to cover, like how some fashion were influenced by the battles going on during those times. I also had to look over the 1st and 3rd waves of feminism as well.

Photo credits to ARSTOR