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Winter Arts Find Ways to Shine

Photo of Seattle Academy Winter Trimester Performing Arts 2021

Seattle Academy’s Performing Arts programs are taking creativity in new directions during the COVID-19 pandemic. SAAS students and faculty collaborate from remote spaces via Zoom and maximize technology to create cohesive performances for our community to enjoy in the safety and comfort of their own home.

On January 28, the Upper School Instrumental Jazz Red Combo was featured on KNKX radio’s School of Jazz with Abe Beeson. The Red Combo includes: Tito Rios-Viche ’21 on bass; Henry Roseman ’22 on piano; and Calvin Lundin ’23 on drums. In a rare opportunity, the trio was videotaped in performance at SAAS socially distanced and masked in the Instrumental Music Room. They were supported by Matt Frost, Director of Instrumental Music, and accompanied by music mentor, Peter Gabrielson, on bass guitar. Their set included jazz standards, as well as original work composed by Henry Roseman.

 

The Upper School Winter Production, The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later, was live streamed on January 29 and shared on demand through February 4.  Written by the Tectonic Theatre Project, this powerful play is a follow up to The Laramie Project, which documented the brutal beating and murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard in Laramie on October 6, 1998. Ten years later, the Tectonic Theatre Project revisited Laramie where they conducted over 200 interviews to write this sequel examining the long-term effect of Matthew’s murder on the town. Directed by Michael Cimino, our student actors diligently portrayed actual people from Laramie, including Matthew’s two murderers, Aaron McKinley and Russell Henderson, and his mother, Judy Shepard. Speaking in a series of monologues and dialogues, they filmed scenes remotely and the parts were woven together to produce this complex production.

 

On February 4, the Upper School Vocal Music Ensemble Show was presented online. The show featured a compilation of songs chosen and performed individually by each ensemble member. Vocalists found inspiration in jazz standards (Cry Me a River, September in the Rain, and Someone to Watch Over Me). They also drew from current jazz artists Yebba (My Mind), Kurt Elling (Washing of the Water), and Sinne Eeg (Hours of Ours). Beyond jazz, selections came from country artist Brad Paisley (When I Get Where I’m Going), musical theatre (My Grand Plan from The Lightning Thief), seventies icon Carole King (So Far Away), and soul/R & B artist Allen Stone (Contact High). Directed by Mark Hoover, these eclectic performances were filmed at home and curated artfully to build a beautiful show. 

Congratulations to all of our performers, faculty and staff members for continuing our Culture of Performance even during these uncertain times.