Creativity in the Time of Covid–April 18, 2021

‘Circle of Truth’ Brings Fans Back Around

It’s been months in the making, and cancelation of the last showcase brought on by Tropical Storm Eta only prolonged the time it’s been since our dancers have performed live, but ‘Circle of Truth’ delivered a surge of emotion both to the audience and the artmakers.

Parents teared up as they witnessed the spectacle from the perimeter of the circle, one mom fighting back tears as she noted, “I don’t know if it was the beauty of the dancing or the intense feels of seeing them doing what they love for an audience, but this has just gotten me.”

‘Circle of Truth’ was an eclectic mix of music and dance, with all the VPA dance genres featured—modern, ballet, Afro modern, hip hop, and Flamenco—along with a few student choreographies by seniors Olivia Benjamin and Lauren Reasoner. Tempest and Category 5 rocked the house with songs ranging from Paramore’s “Misery Business” to the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris,” while Jet Stream and a small vocal chamber choir offered ethereal harmonies with wistful tunes like John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Victor Young’s “When I Fall in Love.”

Next up for the VPA Dance Department will be their senior showcase on May 24 at WBTT; VPA Music’s upcoming senior showcase will be another outdoor concert on May 29 at Booker’s pavilion.

VPA Music Students Earn Superiors at States

Keeran Sundaram and Zionna Williams perform their award-winning duet.

Congratulations to VPA Music senior Zionna Williams and junior Keeran Sundaram, who earned a Superior rating at the Florida Bandmasters Association’s Solo and Ensemble state-wide event. This is the first time on record that VPA students have earned a Superior at the state level FBA Solo and Ensemble.

The students prepared a duet performance of the “Six Canonic Sonatas” by Teleman. They first performed at the district-level and received a Superior; in order to move on to the state level, musicians must play music rated Level 5 (difficulty) or higher.

Their piece qualified, so the duo moved on to States, again submitting a video and virtually receiving feedback from adjudicator Michael Bovenzi, saxophone professor at the University of North Florida.

VPA Art Students’ Work Selected for North County Art Show

The annual North County Art Show is opening this week, and there will be a strong contingency from the VPA Art Department. Congratulations to the students whose work was selected for the live exhibition at Art Center Sarasota that runs April 20-May 4. Guests must make an appointment to view the exhibit by calling the Art Center Sarasota at (941) 365-2032.

Production Continues for ‘Last Rung’

The VPA Film and Animation Department is continuing production on ‘Last Rung of the Ladder,’ the Stephen King Dollar Baby film. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the process.

Ms. Sunny Smith, normally much more vivacious, is featured in the film.

Caution: Testing Season Ahead!

As we approach the end of the year, parents and students should be reminded that between mid-April and early June, AICE testing will be in place. For our families, especially at home, this means knowing those important dates and ensuring our AICE candidates are rested, have had a healthy breakfast, and are ready to show all they know for these important exams.

Remember parents, students can earn college credit from these exams; there is no penalty for not passing them, but students who are “no-shows” may be ineligible to take AICE tests in the future. This includes tests that linger past the end of the school year. Plan ahead and be sure you have your students at school, on time, for these exams. As a reminder: there are NO make-up exams for AICE. If a student misses, that’s it; depending on the nature of the absence (especially in a time of frequent quarantines), they may be eligible to re-take next year. For questions or concerns, contact AICE Coordinator Chris Hutchinson. The testing schedule is here for the spring/summer Cambridge examination series.

Let Your Voice Be Heard: Town Hall Meetings This Week

A message from Dr. Rachel Shelley, BHS Proud Principal:

As you may know, Sarasota County Schools is currently working on its strategic plan for next year. The Superintendent and members of the district’s leadership team have been holding Town Hall meetings to gather feedback, and they would love to hear from all employees & families!

The Superintendent wants to ensure that he and his leadership team understand the needs of the school communities located in the northern part of the county. The north county area SCS Town Hall meeting will be held at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, April 21st in the Booker High School cafeteria. Families are encouraged to attend. Those attending the meeting in-person will be required to wear a face mask and follow social distancing rules. Please bring your smartphone, as we will be collecting information using a special interactive software.

There is also the option to attend and provide feedback remotely via a one-way broadcast. You can access that here. Please note, the link will go live at the start of the Town Hall meeting.

We hope you’ll be able to attend and help represent our area, as well as our school, as the district works to establish its plans. Thank you for your consideration!

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