VPA Art Student Earns Top Mark on AICE Portfolio
Congratulations to VPA Art junior Alanna Hutton, whose portfolio earned Cambridge International Scholar “Top in the World” award for having scored the best out of all candidates submitting a portfolio in Summer 2021. Hutton worked under the supervision of Ms. Cathie Janssen to complete the 2-D portfolio.
“Top in the World” awards are highly prestigious and rare. The last “Top in the World” award-winner at Booker High School was Isabelle Stark for her work in General Paper in the 2018 series.
Multicultural Collab Demonstrates Power of Percussion
Nobody in the Band Room Feb. 14 could resist the allure of the beat when the artist Wilson led a Brazilian percussion workshop. Teacher of the Year Loridia Urquiza brought Wilson to the school to expose students to the intoxicating tradition of Brazilian percussion.
Urquiza collaborated with Ms. Ellen Saxton to expand the impact of this (literally) moving workshop, where all students were given sticks to create Samba beats in unison. Chairs became drum sets as students brought rhythms to life, with dance students demonstrating the traditional Latin dance.
Samba is an artform brought to Brazil from Africa in the 19th century. Because of its roots in Black culture, Samba was criminalized for many years. Now it is known as an icon of Brazilian national identity.
Without a doubt, the workshop engaged and delighted. Thanks so much to Ms. Urquiza and Mr. Saxton for hosting. And of course, thanks to Wilson and Prof. Diego Villada for presenting the cultural workshop that began the week with a beat.
Booker Band Earns Excellent at MPA
The Booker VPA Jazz Ensemble earned an Excellent rating at the district Music Performance Assessment on Feb. 17. While the rating is not the highest achievement at MPA, it comes after some challenges within the band and its leadership.
Recently, Band Director Ellen Saxton as well as some players have been out due to pandemic, and a last-minute injury to a saxophonist meant a day-of substitution. Due to unavoidable absences, the moment of truth was intimidating. Yet, even with less-than-perfect rehearsal conditions, the band pulled through.
Referendum Vote Just Around the Corner
Sarasota County Schools prides itself on being one of the best districts in the state, with robust programs, generous student support, and state-of-the-art learning facilities. Some of this is made possible through the 1 mill tax referendum that goes to support public and charter schools.
The referendum is up for renewal on March 8. Be sure to vote. To learn more about the ways the 1 mill property tax funds school activities county-wide, click here. At Booker High School specifically, here’s what the referendum supports.
Lady Tornadoes Head to Final Four!
The Booker High School Lady Tornadoes defeated Port Charlotte, winning the Class 4A Region 3 Regional finals on Feb. 18. Next, the basketball team will head to the Final Four Regional Finals.
What’s this got to do with VPA? Why, the pep rally, of course! The Whirlwind Brigade Marching Band and Color Guard feted the team at a brief rally. Interestingly, both groups are full of VPA students. So, enjoy a few photos from Friday’s festivities.
Death By Chocolate: In This Hour
Feb. 25-26 | 7 p.m. and Feb. 26 | 2 p.m.
The most decadent VPA event of the year, Death By Chocolate is a feast for all senses. Patrons can listen to fabulous music while indulging in chocolate, cocoa and coffee. This year’s theme, time, offers exploration into its mysteries, with songs about eternity, repetition, tedium, anticipation, and more.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
Mar. 3-5 | 7 p.m. and Mar. 6 | 2 p.m. @ The Civic Green
Presented in partnership with The Bay Park Conservancy, this Shakespeare in the Park presentation of one of the bard’s most popular plays is sure to please. Exploring love in all its facets, the play is a comical look at the nature of attraction.
Apr. 1-2 | 7 p.m. @ Booker High School
The line between reality and fiction is blurred in this dance show that explores our tendency to fool others as well as ourselves. Examining deception and awakening, the masks and the revelations, Fool*ish features pieces in modern, ballet, hip hop, African and Latin dance genres.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
May 6-7 | 8 p.m. @ The Sarasota Opera House
Hang on to your tunics! This madcap farcical tale of a slave attempting to win his freedom by helping his master woo the girl next door is a hilarious adventure of epic proportion. Forum is one of Sondheim’s most celebrated and popular musicals, winning several Tony awards and enjoying numerous revivals and screen remakes.