Sunday, March 31, 2019

Curtain Call

It would be nice to report that every public school provides its students with the same opportunities to participate in artistic and other endeavors that go beyond your basic, nuts and bolts education. Unfortunately, politics, priorities and funds dictate otherwise, so it’s up to resourceful parents combined with visionary faculty and local school administrations to fill in the gap. That said, the penultimate word of the week goes to the Godmother of Stone and the hardest working person in CPS, Virginia Falkner:
I joined Friends of Stone Academy in 2010, a year after my daughter started at the school. We choose Stone because of their dedication to the arts within the school and FOSA was working hard to raise funds to continue arts programming at the school. When we started, there was arts programming in several of the grades but not all (Theater Arts in 2nd grade, Blues in the School in 4th grade, Spanish dance in 3rd grade, ballroom dancing in 5th grade). Over the years we have been able to raise more and more money and now fund an arts experience in each grade at Stone Academy. We are also very lucky to still have a full time Art and full time Music teacher and to be able to perform a Spring Musical each year since we have been at the school. It is a great experience for the younger students to be able to enjoy musicals in the school setting and even more influential for those students in 5th-8th grade who choose to perform in the musical and go through the full process of musical theater. We have had several fun productions in the past few years, Shrek Jr and Peter Pan Jr, which have been great for the younger audiences but this year’s cast pulled off a more serious musical with Fiddler on the Roof and did a fabulous job. FOSA is thrilled to be able to also help fund the musical to provide costumes and sets that help the students present spectacular productions. The arts are definitely still alive at Stone Academy.

My heart thanks to Jamie Perry, Caleb Naimy, Virginia Falkner and especially to the wonderful cast and crew of Stone Academy’s “Fiddler on the Roof” for creating something magnificent and beautiful which will live on in the hearts of all of us who were there to witness it for a very long time. A special shout out goes to principal Jay Brandon for his great support.

Now it’s only fair to save the last word of the week for the students of Stone who have some reflections to share:
Musical theater at Stone has taught be to believe in myself. I’m able to express myself, and do what I love most. My favorite part of this year’s production was getting my dream role. It made me feel like all my hard work over the past four years had paid off. I can leave Stone remembering all the good times I had in their productions, and that no matter what I decide to do in life, musical theater gave me the confidence to do it.
Sadie K. eighth grade

Musicals at Stone never disappoint. The hard work and adherence offered by the teachers and students ensure performances that the audience and performers will never forget. It is an honor to be a part of the cast and is an experience that I will cherish forever. Additionally, being part of a theatre group builds confidence and public speaking skills valued in all careers. Everyone involved deserves an enormous thank you for making this possible.
Ella W. eighth grade 

My experience during “Fiddler on the Roof” was something extraordinary. It was like having a whole family night at school, and being able to do a show was something I felt privileged to do. This family even made me and others cry during/before the last performance.
 Anya T. sixth grade

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