A number of Hopewell Valley Central High School students have drawn state and national accolades for their musical, theatrical and artistic pursuits.
Among some of recent “incredible achievements,” as reported by Ron Heller, supervisor of visual and performing arts for the school district:
♦ CHS student Barron Brothers was selected as a finalist in the N.J. Music Educators Association Young Composers Competition Contest. Barron’s original composition for choral ensemble, titled “Tribute to the Trail of Tears,” was chosen for inclusion in the vocal division of the NJ-YCC Finals, to be held virtually via Zoom on Saturday, Jan. 30.
“I wrote this piece in memoriam of a tragic event in history, the Trail of Tears, which I felt was important to me because I have Choctaw ancestors in my family,” explained Brothers in his program notes for the composition. “I used a theme-and-variations composition style, with the original melody as a soprano solo at the beginning of the piece. This then develops into a more complex melody with more intricate harmonies as the piece progresses. The constant movement in the more developed melody represents the constant walking that the Native Americans had to endure.”
♦ CHS National Art Honor Society junior-year members Brianna Fish and Sofia Venezia have been selected to have their artwork displayed in the sixth annual NAHS Juried Exhibition. The pair’s works were chosen from 1,187 entries received nationwide.
Describing her entry, “I Keep Hoping it’s a Dream,” Fish said, “My goal for this piece was to show the division in the world with the current problems and what the world has become during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Venezia said her painting, titled “Division,” was “inspired by the current divided state of our country.”
“I wanted to portray the feeling of being stuck between sides in front of a town that is supposed to be a united community,” the teen artist wrote.
Normally, the NAHS/NJAHS exhibit would be mounted at the National Art Education Association Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, but this year’s exhibit, with 93 works in all, will be on virtual display through April 20. The gallery can be viewed here.
♦ The CHS Thespian Troupe recently took part in the virtual New Jersey Thespians Virtual Festival 2021. Troupe member Sophia Parsons was selected for the “Best of the Festival” showcase for her contrasting monologues, and eight members participated in the first-ever “All State Musical, Songs for a New World,” directed by Hopewell Valley high theater teacher Katie Rochon.
Receiving “superior ratings” in their individual events — which this year were called “the Thespys” — were Alayna Domboski, Jack Creegan, Molly Higgins, Payton Tharp, David LaRaus, Elliot Block, Caleb Briggs, Olivia Levin and Parsons. They now will compete at the Virtual International Thespian Festival in June.
Block also was a winner for his essay in the Thespian Democracy Works category and will get to attend a national event in Washington D.C. for arts advocacy.
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