High school visual arts teacher Meagan Brooker enters her 16th year at Wesleyan with a renewed perspective on creativity, exploration, and the visual arts process, thanks to the Wesleyan Summer Sabbatical Grant. During June, Brooker spent 14 days touring and studying plein air painting, or painting on site, in Italy, France, and Spain.
High school band and chorus captivated their audience during their respective concerts on April 26 and April 22. Both band and chorus performed for concert three times- once for the lower school, once for the middle school, and once for the high school, and both ensembles demonstrated a dynamic and impressive range of musical genres.
The National Arts Honor Society (NAHS) and AP environmental science class teamed up to create a beautiful turtle mural made entirely from bottle caps in celebration of Earth Day, which was April 22, 2022. Students presented the mural to their classmates at Monday Morning Rally.
As soon as “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” was announced as the middle school spring musical, Chad Simmons, technical director and drama teacher, and Serena Wright, assistant technical director, began dreaming of the iconic car soaring across the Powell Theater stage.
Just days after eighth grade students finished their study of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” the Wesleyan Wolf Players performed a condensed and comedic retelling of the story as part of their spring production, “Stories in Rep: 2 One-Acts.” “Romeo and Juliet: A Tale of Two Balconies” was one of two one-acts performed in “Stories in Rep,” and the whole eighth class enjoyed a private performance a few days after the full show concluded.
Congratulations to six high school band students and eight middle school band students who were recently recognized for their hard work and talent! After receiving nominations and enduring rigorous and highly competitive audition processes, students were selected for district honor band representing all schools in Gwinnett County, University of Georgia Midfest bands, and/or all state band representing all schools in Georgia.
As we enter this liturgical season of Lent, pre-first students reminded their captive audience of the “reel-y” Good News of the Gospel through puns, songs, and dance in their annual musical, “Fish Tales." Dressed in fishing attire and standing on a fish-covered stage in Bowen Cafetorium, students performed the beloved pre-first musical. “Fish Tales” is set at a fishing tournament, and the tournament organizer makes sure that while fishing, all competitors also hear the “reel-y” Good News of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
A beloved Wesleyan tradition continued, as first grade students performed the “Three Piggy Opera” in Bowen Cafetorium on Feb. 18 after much rehearsal. With catchy songs and colorful costumes, the first grade students shared the story of the three little pigs with clever characters and a few plot twists. Each student practiced their poise and public speaking skills by reciting his or her lines with confidence, and all students enjoyed singing the toe-tapping tunes.
Middle school 3D art learned a new pottery technique recently that demonstrates how beautiful once-broken pieces are art can be when they are mended. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold and is built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art.
Two creative geniuses, separated by centuries, both enjoyed the spotlight again during the recent production of “All Shook Up” by the Wesleyan Wolf Players. Telling the Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” to the music of Elvis Presley, theater goers enjoyed a classic story of love, mistaken identities, and a few surprises along the way.
On Wednesday, Feb. 2, third grade students performed "In Pursuit of the Fruits" on the Bowen Cafetorium stage. The fruit of Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) are woven throughout the play, and each class performs a portion of the play based on a children’s book or short story:
Students in Ms. Loftis’ class share the story of Jeff Brumbeau’s The Quiltmaker’s Gift.
Students in Mrs. Thomas’ class perform based on Max Lucado’s Best of All.
Students in Mrs. Hall’s class explain Eileen Spinelli’s Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch.
Audiences for the Wolf Players’ presentation of All Shook Up should be prepared for the intersection of Shakespeare and Elvis Presley… and a real motorcycle. Set in 1955, the story of All Shook Up retells Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with Elvis-inspired characters, singing, and dancing, and Chad Simmons, technical director, knew that incredible props would elevate the performance. Simmons purchased a used 2002 Kawaski motorcycle, and Serena Wright, assistant technical director, deconstructed the bike and rebuilt it to be one of the key props driving the musical’s plot.
Artwork by junior Jennifer Noel was recently selected for a national art exhibition. Noel’s work, “Connected through the Chaos” is a work that explores the pandemic, masking, and how it has affected the community. Her art was one of only 200 pieces selected from nearly 1,700 submissions for the 2022 NAHS/NJAHS Juried Exhibition held annually in Washington, D.C. This year’s exhibition is being held virtually.
Shortly after Thanksgiving, band and chorus students traveled to Florida for a workshop led by a University of Central Florida (UCF) professor and some program bonding at amusement parks. Dr. Kelly Miller, coordinator of music education at UCF, led students in a workshop focused on trust-building, non-verbal communication, and teamwork.
Members of the National Art Honor Society (NAHS) recently completed a three-part mural project intended to brighten the “wells” of Cleghorn Hall. Through virtual, hybrid, and now in-person learning, NAHS students used their creativity and painting skills to depict “mind, body, and spirit,” on the below-ground, exterior walls outside the modern and classical languages classrooms on the bottom floor of Cleghorn Hall.
On Friday, Nov. 12, Wesleyan graduate Caroline Mitchell ’15 led workshops for the Wolf Theater Guild in Lencke Theater. The workshops were focused on helping students understand what it means to be in each other’s space on stage and how to engage with one another effectively and respectfully as a cast.
“We were so grateful to spend time with Caroline,” said Stephanie Simmons, high school theater director and sponsor of the Guild. “Knowing how to engage with one another in scenes that call for a lot of togetherness and often comedic behavior can be a challenge for many young actors. Caroline brought great perspective to our students and led them through exercises to help them anticipate how to best approach these situations on stage.”
High school students involved in the National Art Honor Society (NAHS) recently presented three large canvases to Karyn Vickery, director of the Academic Resource Center (ARC), to use as wall decoration in the ARC. The visual art students aimed to create work that would celebrate learning differences and encourage a growth mindset, and Vickery was thrilled with the results.
Kudos to our Wolf Players, who performed Peter Pan three times over the weekend and last week! Stephanie Simmons, high school theater director, directed the show, and eight seniors led the cast as they shared the tale of the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up.