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Here we are on the eve of our winter holiday break, a much-anticipated moment for us all to rest and rejuvenate, spend time with loved ones (hopefully, in our bubble!), and reflect on all that 2020 has brought.
What a tumultuous year! Who would have known, this time last year, that life as we know it would shift this dramatically, and that our way of life—which involves art openings, movie theatres, live theatrical and dance performances, concerts, and even school—would be fundamentally rebuilt? With gatherings becoming a thing of the past, reshaping our approach to teaching, learning, and expressing in the arts suddenly sunk all our focus. Here we are, a semester later, with many triumphs and mistakes under our collective belt, and while much remains uncertain, we do know this: we are all learning, and we’re in this together.
Parents and families, we are grateful for your continued support as we learn to navigate an entirely new digital world. Making the transition from stage to screen has been rough, but we learn a little every day. We know there have been moments of frustration–tech troubles, storms chasing away outdoor performance opportunities–but we are so glad for your patience and endorsement as we learn this new realm.
Students, we are so in awe of your perseverance, talent, and passion. You’ve learned to sing and dance with masks on, to perform for a camera instead of an audience, and to touch people’s souls in a time of distance.
And at the center of this has been our amazing, fearless VPA teachers, whose love for their art and their students has been a guiding light through a time that could only be described as dark.
This has been a trial, and this has been a triumph. As we bid goodbye to 2020, may the gifts of our lives float to the top of our reflections, and may we look forward to 2021 with the hope and connectedness that has been our salvation.
The Booker High School VPA Bands, Guitarists and Pianists will present a holiday concert, “Let it Snow,” that promises favorite songs of the season performed with spunk and heart by our talented VPA musicians. Be sure to tune in at 7 p.m. on Dec. 23 to see these musicians in action. Your e-pass is available on our event calendar, click on “Let it Snow,” Dec. 23.
Congratulations to Colin Leonard, VPA Music senior, who earned the top prized in the Ruth Deluca Memorial SMTA Original Composition Contest, a local contest for students in Manatee and Sarasota county. The winning composition, Nocturne in B-Flat Minor: Color of Twilight, Op. 3, demonstrates Colin’s superb musicality and expertise in the art of composing.
Ten students applied to the contest, eight VPA music students and two students from Manatee County Schools.
Colin received a cash prize and will perform at the annual SMTA Recital in May.
This holiday season, one of the most exciting and festive activities to partake in is the Holiday Light Show at the University Town Center. This year’s show was created by a team that includes our own Production Manager, Nick Jones.
Jones, who typically works winters in New York City to create the iconic ball drop on New Years Eve, helped engineer the synchronized light show that will delight thousands of locals this winter. Students in the Live Entertainment Production & Design department have an opportunity to learn skills that can be applied to any type of live event, and crowd-pleasers like this, that become cherished holiday memories, are a reminder of the variety of applications of that program’s curriculum. For information about the light show, check out this story.
Anyone who tuned in on Dec. 18 to witness “GLOW” was in for an experience that was transformative: expertly executed musical selections of the season filmed in a sacred space.
If you missed it, or just want to revisit that moment to play as your holiday music, you can access the show here.
For other shows of the season, including the much-anticipated “Under the Willow,” which, unfortunately, faced tech glitches in the premiere, you can always check out our catalogue of virtual shows in our Virtual Archive.
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