The 2020-21 Wesleyan Wolf Players theater season kicks off this week with the high school fall performance of “This Is A Test – A One-Act Play.” The show opens on Thursday, September 24 in Lencke Theater in the Fine Arts building.
Congratulations to senior Haley Gilliam who was recently named an exhibition finalist for the Atlanta High School Art Exhibit which is held at the Dogwood Festival. Only 4% of entries were chosen to be exhibited in the Piedmont Park Community Center as part of the festival. All work on the exhibit will be juried to win prizes. Way to go, Haley!
On Wednesday, March 4th, the Wesleyan Chamber Singers participated in the District 13 GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluation. Wesleyan entered the evaluation singing in Class A, the highest difficulty level possible. This category is normally for choirs that are much larger and older. The Chamber Singers scored an overall Excellent performance rating and a Superior rating in sight-reading. Congratulations to Wesleyan for a great showing among Gwinnett County’s finest singers!
This week, the high school photography 2 class went on a photography excursion field trip to Krog Street Market. The students used their advanced photography knowledge to “showcase their best skills” as a final project for the class. The murals, texture, and industrial architecture of the area help create a photographer’s playground. Students were even allowed to spray paint the Krog Street tunnel!
Wesleyan Symphonic Band and Chorus had a busy weekend in New York City over the Thanksgiving Holidays. The group went to a New York Philharmonic concert, had a Q&A with a violinist, received a backstage tour of Rockefeller Center, met a Rockette, went to the “Top of the Rock”, reconnected with alumni Will Rainwater ‘19, shopped in Times Square and saw Wicked!
Sixth through eighth grade art students are working on their annual gingerbread house projects. Teams design a detailed house around a theme, and when finished they are donated to local charities and nursing homes. Houses are built with a cardboard structure, then covered with graham crackers, icing and candy.
For the second year, the Advanced 2D art students have partnered with a humanitarian organization, the Memory Project. This year the students have been working on creating portraits of children who live in Pakistan. In December, the original works of art will be mailed to the Memory Project headquarters where a volunteer will hand deliver them to the children portrayed in the works of art. The Pakistan outreach is the newest addition to the Memory Project organization and their primary goal is to connect people from two countries who typically view each other negatively. With each generation we hope for an even better future. Simple acts of kindness, reaching out across oceans, and providing a work of art may be just the start needed to build relations between two countries in future generations.
Humanitarian outreach happens in many different ways; through missions, monetary donations, medical aid, and sometimes through creating a one of a kind work of art for a child who is facing many obstacles. The portraits will be on display outside of Austin Chapel until December, 2.
On November 1 the Wesleyan Chamber Singers welcomed The Whiffenpoofs of Yale, an all-male a cappella singing group. They have been featured on NBC’S The Sing Off, The West Wing, The Today Show, 60 Minutes, Gilmore Girls, Jeopardy!, Saturday Night Live, and most recently on the Season 4 finale of the hit television show Glee. The Whiffenpoofs led a singing workshop and performed some of their repertoire for the Chamber Singers during their class.
Congratulations to the Wolf Players as they placed second place at the Area Three One-Act competition this past Saturday. They’ll be moving on to the GHSA State One-Act competition at Warner Robins High School on Saturday, Nov. 9 and will perform at 11:30 a.m.
In addition to second place overall, the Wolf Players also received Best Ensemble honors. Individually, senior Emily Kelly won Best Actress and sophomore Zach Russell, sophomore William Sabonis-Chafee, and senior Tyler Sturtevant each won All-Star Cast honors.
Congratulations to high school students, Ashton Cameron, Zoe Jackson, Hannah Sterling, and Natalie Hamlin for being selected as featured artists in The Center for Civil and Human Right's Social Justice Art Series showcase on May 9th.
Students in and around the Atlanta-area submitted work centered around social justice awareness to be considered for the series, entitled "Awoken: A Student Social Justice Art Showcase."
Senior Natalie Hamlin also received a Best in Show award for her piece entitled “Muna”, which is from her AP Art concentration that is based on refugees in Clarkston, GA: “The most diverse square mile in America.”
Congratulations, art students, for using your voice for good!
Alex Thorne, 8th grade, has played a key role in the Fine Arts department. He is a top member of the Advanced Band, Marching Band, and Basketball Band at Wesleyan. In addition to sharing his excellent clarinet skills with the band, Alex continues to perform lead roles in the Middle School plays and musicals. Alex shares his musical and theatrical gifts freely and invests in the progress of his peers and the ensemble. We are blessed to have Alex in the Fine Arts at Wesleyan.
The Middle School Theater Department is proud to present 8th grader Davis Olds as our Fine Arts Member of the week. Davis is a familiar face to our department having been in the past three Wolf Jr. Productions. This week, you can see him as Mr. Salt in our spring production, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka. We are so thankful to have Davis as a member of our cast. He is a joy to work with during rehearsals and is a great example to all of his cast mates of what it means to be patient and kind. Davis is hardworking and wonderfully particular in how he brings his characters to life onstage especially when those characters are difficult ones. Not only does Davis participate in the Wolf Jr. Productions, he is an outstanding member of Mr. Simmons’ 8th Grade Improv Class. It is encouraging to see his love for theatre, in all its artforms, grow and flourish. Congratulations, Davis!
Ally Jones is developing into a leader of the Fine Arts early in her high school career. As only a ninth-grader, Ally has been involved in all three shows with the Wesleyan Wolf Players this year. She has also performed several solos as a member of the Chamber Singers, a testament to her talent and energy in rehearsal. She is also a valuable member of this year’s Literary Team. Ally won the Area championship and placed 5th at State in Girls Solo. She also placed 5th at State as a member of the Girls Trio. Ally has plenty more time to add to her accomplishments but has sought opportunities now to distinguish herself. Way to go Ally!
Don’t miss the 9th annual Visual Arts Exhibit. The opening reception is Wednesday, April 11, from 6:30 pm until 8:00 pm in the Fine Arts building. Enjoy music, finger foods, and beautiful artwork selected from our middle and high school art students. The artwork will be on display in the Fine Arts building until May 11.
Congratulations to 8th grader Jessica Nolan, the Fine Arts Member of the Week. Jessica is a 4-year chorus member and has also been a part of several Wolf Jr. Player theater productions. Over her time in chorus, she has greatly improved her singing skills and has emerged as a leader. In addition to her excellent and expressive singing, Jessica has recently stepped up as a choreographer in chorus class, leading her peers in learning a dance for their upcoming music video, “This Is Me.” Jessica is also serving as stage manager for the upcoming production of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, a position that has her at rehearsal every day, and frequently has her standing in and playing the roles of any cast members who are absent (often from memory!). Jessica - thank you for using your gifts in a variety of ways in Wesleyan fine arts!
Michelle Tan, 12th grade clarinetist, is this week’s Fine Arts Member of the Week. Michelle has been a dedicated member of the band program; she is a 4-year member of the symphonic band and was a member of the marching band for 6 years. She served as drum major this past season and did an outstanding job. Additionally, she has led the symphonic band clarinet section very well the past few years. She worked hard to prepare her section on some very challenging music this semester. She has auditioned for and made it into the District Honor Band all four years of high school and was a member of the Honor Wind Symphony at the University of Georgia Band Festival back in January. We are proud of Michelle and her accomplishments!
Lauren Bell, 12th grade, is involved in multiple areas of fine arts. She is in AP Art student with a focus on photography and has won multiple art awards this year, including two Regional Scholastic Gold Key Awards, an Honorable Mention in the Shutter Sense awards, and district finalist in the All State Art Awards. She is also a talented graphic designer and has designed all five theater posters this year. You may have seen Lauren on stage as Mrs. Potts in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast or singing in the chapel band. Lauren plans to study graphic design in college. Congratulations, Lauren!
Senior, Grayson Ragsdale, has performed on the Wesleyan stage throughout her tenure at the school. During high school she appeared in every Wesleyan musical, singing the classic Day By Day in the Wolf Player production of Godspell during her junior year. She was Belle's understudy in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and performed that role during the Saturday matinee. This year, she also secured her second comedic role in a Kaufman and Hart play. The first, during her sophomore year, was Maggie Cutler in The Man Who Came to Dinner and in April, her final Wolf Player performance, Grayson will perform the part of Penny Sycamore in You Can’t Take It With You. Her talent and versatility has made her a fixture on the Wesleyan stage. In the fall, she appeared in The Odyssey as the Muse and Calypso - very appropriate for someone whose inspiration and energy have been her strengths. Congratulations, Grayson!
Lily Rudder, AP Art student, recently earned a Scholastic Art Awards National Silver Key for her mixed media painting entitled Shadows of Africa. This award identifies Lily as one of the most talented young artists and writers in the nation by panels of creative professionals. This year, nearly 350,000 works of art and writing were submitted.Only the top 1% were recognized at the national level. Congratulations, Lily!