Creativity in the Time of Covid–Oct. 3, 2021

College and Career Readiness in the VPA

Theatre Hosts UF Master Classes in Musical Theatre

On Oct. 1, the Theatre Department welcomed Matt Morgan and Andrew Cao from the University of Florida’s School of Theatre + Dance to lead master classes in voice and dance.

Cao led a very excited group of students through original Broadway choreography. They learned a section of “My Shot” from the mega-hit “Hamilton.” Throughout the lesson, he peppered the dance intensive with anecdotes from his own Broadway career. He offered gems of advice he’s learned along the way, including that it’s important to be yourself. Cao, who started his own dance training at 19, recalled stories of showing up at dance calls feeling less accomplished than those who’d danced all their lives and learned technical virtuosity. “It would be like trying to pick up a violin for the first time and playing it for judges,” he said. Learning how to just be himself, he said, earned him more callbacks than he’d ever gain through trying to dazzle with physical feats.

Meanwhile, Morgan brought innovative and unusual techniques to the students. He focused on breath control and anatomy to help them get the most out of their voices. Using devices like spirometers, he was able to get students to produce strong and controlled sounds.

Ringling College Visits Film & Animation

This week also marked a visit from the Ringling College of Art + Design. We are fortunate that this world-renowned art school is right in our community. Students learned about campus life, how to apply, and important upcoming dates for prospective students.

BHS and Ringling College of Art + Design have a partnership, and many graduates of both the Film & Animation and Visual Art Departments go on to hone their craft at Ringling.

Music Hosts UF and FSU Representatives

Kris Watson enumerates degree majors at FSU.

The Music Department also recently hosted reps from the University of Florida and Florida State University. Students learned about future pathways in music. FSU representative Kris Watson noted that the college has dozens of degree programs, so students can pursue ambition in performance, pedagogy, business, research and more.

VPA United

When school returned for the 20-21 year, Mr. Zickafoose converted a Music bulletin board to one of affirmation. Now, the positive messages have returned. Students’ uplifting words are on display in the music area of building 8, so check out the board if you’re on campus. Anyone seeking a dose of inspiration can find it here.

Hispanic Heritage Day Offers Festive Observance

Yoshi Wilson and Ms. Urquiza demonstrate Latin dance while students look on.

September 15-October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the histories and cultures of Hispanic Americans. Led by BHS Teacher of the Year, Loridia Urquiza, celebrations at the school have been multifaceted. The school has held coffee tastings and poster contests, and on Sept. 30, VPA Music played during both lunches. Students and teachers danced in revelry.

Booker High’s Hispanic population is the majority of the school, at just over 40 percent. We honor our students from all backgrounds and are thrilled to highlight this group this month.

Check out these pictures from the celebration on Thursday!

Film & Animation Drawing Fridays

It may be 90 degrees and swampy outside, but autumn’s chill exists right here in this room. Film & Animation students got in the spirit of fall this week with a still life study of gourds. Replete with a county-plaid blanket, the setup evoked the season’s hues and textures. The focus this week was value, and the landscape of this harvest offered plenty of territory for students to practice their technique.

VPA Announces Winter Musical Cast!

The cast list for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is up! The show runs Dec. 9-11 at the Municipal Auditorium. Reserve your seats for that, along with tons of upcoming events, here.

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