the Boston Latin School Visual and Performing Arts Website

bls arts news 2008-09 archive

Achievements, awards, & other arts-related happenings

Mr. Pitts Recognized for "Going Above and Beyond"

MAY 15--BLS Fine and Performing Arts Department Chair Paul J. Pitts was named as the 2009 recipient of the Michael G. Contompasis "Zeus" Award, given each year by the Boston Public Schools to an employee "who has gone significantly above and beyond their regular job responsibilities to advance the mission of the Boston Public Schools by taking the initiative to identify problems and effectively implement creative solutions." Congratulations, Mr. Pitts!

Theatre Company In Line for Multiple Honors

MAY 13--The Boston Latin Theatre Company has been selected to perform at the Fringe Festival in Scotland for the American High School Theatre Festival. Their selection is a reflection of the high quality of their overall body of work.

The Theatre Company has also been nominated for four North Shore Theatre Spotlight Awards for their December 2008 production of Merrily We Roll Along. The nominations include Best Musical, Best Supporting Actor (Jacob Meister), Best Orchestra (Mr. Snyder) and Best Technical Crew. The Spotlight Award winners will be announced June 2.

Five BLS Students Among Fidelity FutureStage Winners

MAY 4--Five Boston Latin School students have earned the opportunity of a lifetime--performing with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall--as winners in the 2009 Fidelity FutureStage competition.

Singer/songwriter/pianist Chris Middleton ('10) and the Grieg Quartet--violinists B. Kim ('12) and Tadesh Inagaki ('10), violist Allyn McCourt ('10), and cellist Christopher Nguyen ('10)--were among the four acts chosen through a two-stage audition process to represent the best young musicians in the Boston Public Schools.

The other contest winners were singer AnJalique Perry (Roland Hayes School of Music) and the Underground Trio (Boston Arts Academy).

The concert takes place on Wednesday, May 20 at 8 PM. More information (including links to buy tickets) is available at the FutureStage website.

BLS Student Wins 1st Prize in Ellington Essay Contest

BLS junior Elizabeth Vandorpe was recently named as the first prize winner in the eighth annual Essentially Ellington essay contest sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center. The 2008-09 contest theme was "How are jazz and democracy linked?" The contest is open to students from Essentially Ellington member schools. Prize winners were selected by Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center staff, based on originality, style, and clarity.

For her first-place essay, Elizabeth will receive a trip to New York to attend this year's Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival, a seat engraved with her name or the name of her choice at Frederick P. Rose Hall, the home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, a certificate signed by Wynton Marsalis, and a variety of other prizes. Her essay will be published in the festival Playbill and posted on the Jazz at Lincoln Center website.

Big Band Good as Gold at MAJE Finals

The BLS Big Band capped a triumphant festival season with a gold-medal performance at the Massachusetts Association for Jazz Education (MAJE) State Big Band Finals at Framingham High School on March 21. The Big Band had previously registered a third-place finish at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival, a silver medal at the Norwood Jazz Classic, and a gold medal at the Cape Cod District Jazz Festival.

BLS theatre company nominated for 2010 festival in Edinburgh!

Drama teacher Christa Crewdson is delighted to announce that because of the great work the theatre company has produced in the last few years, the Boston Latin Theatre Company has been nominated to represent the United States at the 2010 American High School Theatre Festival (AHSTF) in Edinburgh, Scotland! There is an application process for further review, but if we are selected, this is a huge honor—the highest recognition a high school theatre can achieve.  Ms. Crewdson notes: “I am so thrilled!  The kids deserve it! We hope that next year there will still be a theatre program to take if we make the final cut!”

Boston Latin School Advances in 2009 DRAMA GUILD Competition

Congratulations to the cast and crew of DarkPlay or Stories for Boys for their win in the preliminary competition of the Massachusetts High School Drama Guild Festival on Saturday, Feb. 28th at Wellesley High School. In addition, individual All Star Company Awards were awarded to the following students: Acting - Carlos Rojas and Ciaran Foley, Technical Design - Saul Slezas, and Stage Management- Meg Hiserodt. This win qualifies the Boston Latin School Theater Company to compete in the festival semi-finals which will be held at Westford Academy on 3/14/09.  Boston Latin School performs at 1:30.

Big Band takes silver, gold at festivals

It hasn't been a cold winter for the BLS Big Band; after finishing third at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival (see below) at the end of January, the band rode their hot streak into February, taking a silver and a gold medal at their next two competitions, the Norwood Jazz Classic (Feb. 12) and the Massachusetts Association of Jazz Educators (MAJE) Cape Cod District Festival (Feb. 25). Musicians Matt Hull, Matt Pitts and Sean Creighton received the Outstanding Musicianship awards in their ensemble at the Cape Cod festival, while Matt Pitts (class IV) received the MVP award for the competition as a whole. For the ninth straight year, the Big Band qualifies for the State Finals, to be held on Saturday March 21st in Framingham.

Big Band takes 3rd prize at Berklee festival

The BLS Big Band, under the direction of Paul Pitts and Ryan Snyder, won 3rd prize in Division II of the large ensemble competition at the 2009 Berklee High School Jazz Festival, held on Saturday Jan. 31 at Hynes Auditorium in Boston.

This marks the second straight year that the Big Band has been a winner at the festival; last year's group won first prize. The band was competing against 15 other schools in its division. First and second prizes went to two schools from New Jersey, Pennsauken HS and Shawnee HS.

Trumpeter Matt Hull received the Judges' Choice award as the band's outstanding performer. The band as a whole won praise from the judges for its tight ensemble sound and strong rhythmic feel.

MMEA Eastern Senior District Festival at Boston Latin School January 9th & 10th

Friday and Saturday, January 9th and 10th, Boston Latin School hosted the annual Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) Eastern Senior District Festival, which showcases, through a highly competitive audition process, the most talented musicians and singers in grades 10 through 12. In the Eastern Division, Boston Latin School students compete with their peers at more than 50 local public and private schools to represent their school in one of four categories: chorus, band, orchestra and jazz band. Successful candidates perform in a public concert preceded by two days of workshop and rehearsal. 21 BLS students (named below) were accepted for inclusion in this prestigious event. The other participating Boston Public Schools were Boston Arts Academy, Boston Latin Academy, and the Roland Hayes School of Music.

Volunteers from the BLS Friends of the Arts supported this two-day event by providing logistical support for our guests, a hospitality (green) room for adults, a luncheon for festival organizers, managers and conductors , and snacks for sale to participating students. This last effort resulted in a net gain of $700 for FOA in their efforts to support the Fine Arts department. We would like to thank the following volunteers: parents Deborah Hull, Janice Conley, Digs DeLaura, Phyllis Allison, Diane Shetler, Marion Bullard, Laura Dowd, Julianna Bruce, Valerie Uber, LiLi Liu, Ginny Brennan, Betty Tenwolde, Donna Cuipylo, and Alicia Zipp and alumnae Meredith, Lynn and Julia Gallogly.

This kind of event could not occur without Arts Department Chair Paul Pitts and his staff of dedicated teachers who bring such incredible talent and energy to arts education at Boston Latin School. As parents, we must do everything in our power to insure that this department is not decimated by the current proposed cuts in the BPS budget.

BLS students selected to participate in the 2009 Eastern Senior District Festival

Sherry Wu, violin
B Kim, violin
Natalyn Yu, violin
Ada Lin, violin
Mathilde Montpetit, violin
Monique Smith, viola
Allyn McCourt, viola
Yuxiao Zhang, viola
Christopher Campbell-Orrock, cello
Gloria Ojimba, string bass
Nicholas Muratore, string bass
Concert Band
Warren Thompson, flute
Jamie Chang, flute
Tai Nguyen, oboe
Elizabeth Vandorpe, clarinet
Matt Hull, trumpet
Elliot Bruce, percussion
Jazz Band
Anthony Yee, trombone
Jelyn Masa, alto
Reed McConnel, alto
Lily Wu, alto

Review: "Merrily" has "plenty to offer"

In a Dec. 10 review for the West Roxbury Transcript, Joe McGonegal praises BLS' production of Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along for its "exquisite vocal collaborations" and success in evoking a "sense of wonder" in its audience.

Boston Latin School Awarded 2008 MCC Grant for $6000

mcc logoThe Friends of the Arts at Boston Latin School are proud to announce that the Music Department at the Boston Latin School is a 2008 recipient of a Mass Cultural Council grant of $6000. The money was awarded for the Residency Grant Proposal “Winds of Change” for Boston Latin School Master Class Instruction on woodwind instruments. In collaboration with the North Wind artists and Young Audiences, master classes will be offered to students on flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and French horn. In addition, Boston Public School faculty will be invited to participate in professional development that includes master classes on the same instruments. The program will culminate in a free concert open to the community.