Friday, December 10, 2010

Amazing Attendance at Bethany Middle School Evening Winter Concert

I was blown away last evening by the number of parents, siblings, relatives and friends that attended the winter concert. There was a bit of delay at the beginning because the bleachers, usually reserved for the choir, band, and strings students (when they are not performing) were filled to capacity with folks who came out on a very chilly night to enjoy the performance. I have never seen a crowd as large as the one that attended last evening, and that is a great testiment to our wonderful music teachers' ability to be so inclusive. The numbers of students participating in band, chorus, and strings has swelled to monumental proportions. Amazing! Here is a shot of the choir. I had to go to the very back of the gymnasium in order to fit its expanse into the capacity of my wide-angle lense. Go Amity! Go Arts!

Rich DiGirolamo -- Recess at Work (from Lunch Time Leaders Podcast)

One of our parents teaches social studies in Wallingford, CT. For a few years now, he and selected students have taken their lunch breaks to connect with leaders and experts in their community and beyond. What a great experienc it is for his students to prepare questions and interview such a variety of interesting individuals.
I recently listened to their latest interview with a motivational speaker. It is well worth the 20 minutes. The interviewer was well-prepared, and Mr. DiGirolamo's responses were specific, useful, and inspirational. I hope you will take a few minutes to visit the site. I'm glad I did. It would be nice it these students had a wider audience. Ted Talks are great; these interviews come close!

Rich DiGirolamo -- Recess at Work

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Very "Gleeful" Winter Concert

I am staying late at school today in order to attend an encore performance of our middle school's holiday concert. Under the direction of Rob Fragione, band; Lisa Serio, strings; and Brennan Orie, chorus, well over 50% of the student population is involved in performing in and/or producing this wonderful, entertaining event. When I first entered the auditorium this morning to take pictures, I wondered why nearly all the folding chairs were empty. It was because most of the kids who were performing in the concert were seated on the bleachers, ready to take their places on (or in front of) the stage when called. Here is a picture to illustrate my point:

The concert was comprised of wonderful band numbers, string pieces, and choral pieces - many inspired by the hit television series "Glee." There were also short skits and a video interlude which morphed scenes from Glee into scenes shot at BMS with our own talented youngsters,

Even though I saw the performance this morning, I like to support the kids by attending the evening presentation. They are usually all dressed up and shining for their moms, dad, siblings, and other friends and relatives. It's a really festive, feel-good time, and it's worth spending over a 12-hour day at school.
I got some really good photos this morning, and while I'll take fewer this evening and mainly sit back and enjoy the concert, I know I'll be tempted to raise the camera to capture a few more.

Here is an accidental shot I took this morning. It has not been PhotoShopped at all. I was capturing the kids as they filed down to assemble in front of the stage, and just as I pressed the shutter button, someone stepped in front of the camera. It wasn't until I downloaded the pictures that I saw what an amazing picture I'd captured. Perhaps the "ghost" of Christmas past, present, or future really exists and was in attendance.

I also want to mention the talents of our wonderful faculty who participated in the concert making it even more a family affair - Brian Goldstein on drums and Cornell Bialicki on the keyboard. What great additions to our arts program. Thank goodness the Amity District offfers such strong support for the Arts.
Oh, we are also having a book fair in the media center organized by our wonderful media specialist, Faith Miller. I'll probably shoot a few pictures to capture that as well.