Arts at the Heart

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Monday, Sacred Heart Greenwich students and faculty celebrated various forms of artistic expression for the annual Celebration of the Arts event. Displays of visual arts, musical arts, and theatrical arts comprised the program. The Upper School Chorus, the Madrigals choral group, the Upper School Bell Choir, and the Middle and Upper School Orchestra shared music performances. Some Upper School students also wrote, directed, and performed in a short original play. In addition to the performing arts, two slideshows displayed students‘ artwork from photography and art classes, while two Upper School students accompanied them with piano music.
Middle and Upper School Music Teacher and Upper School Music Director Miss Annette Etheridge conducted the Madrigals, Sacred Heart’s 35-student choir, which performed Andy Beck’s arrangement of Little Mix‘s “Wings,” a contemporary pop song.
Senior and Madrigals captain Jackie Koletas expressed her love for singing with the Madrigals and her appreciation of Celebration of the Arts.

Miss Annette Etheridge directs the Upper School Chorus. Courtesy of Ms. Zurheide

“While athletes have their games, we have our concerts and I think it’s important to show off our hard work and talents,” Jackie said. ”Madrigals is always so enjoyable and it’s a great time to bond with so many types of people who you may not see all the time. Our love for singing truly brings us together and makes us feel close as Sacred Heart sisters.”

Miss Etheridge also directed the Upper School Chorus as they sang Lisa DeSpain’s arrangement of “Mama Who Bore Me” from Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater‘s 2006 musical Spring AwakeningUpper School Chorus is open to Upper School students of all grades, but it is also a prerequisite course for the Madrigals that enables students to participate in a music program in their freshman year while they are not eligible to join the Madrigals. Chorus meets every other day during lunch to prepare pieces of music for the Christmas Concert and the Spring Concert.
“I like chorus because I love to sing, freshman Michala Rogers said.  It’s a great opportunity and I’m so excited to join Madrigals next year.”

Caroline Paul ’19, Christina DeConcini ’18, Avery McCloskey ’20, Morgan Smith ’20, and Kaitlin Reilly ’18 perform Miss Gennaro’s arrangement of P!nk’s “What About Us.” Mae Harkins ’20

After the choral performances, the Upper School Bell Choir, Les Grandes Cloches du Sacré Cœur, also performed at this year‘s Celebration of the Arts. Bell Choir Director Ms. Danielle Gennaro ‘05 led the 25 students of the group, and made an arrangement of the pop-rock artist P!nk‘s song What About Us.” 
Middle and Lower School French Teacher Mrs. Faye Galopin conducted the Orchestra, which includes students from fifth to twelfth grade. The group played Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” using a variety of different instruments, such as the violin, bassoon, and cello.
Following the musical performances, Upper School Art Teacher Mrs. Paula Westcott showcased Upper School art students’ work with a slideshow. During the art slideshow, sophomore Caroline Badagliacca played Ernesto Lecuona‘s “Andalucia,” William Gillock’s ”Fountain in the Rain,” and Frédéric Chopin’s ”Etude Op. 10 No. 3” on the piano. The slideshow included artwork from Foundations of Art, Drawing and Painting, Drawing and Painting II, Design I, Design II, Advanced Portfolio, Advanced Portfolio II, and AP Studio Art.
Drawing and Painting student Arielle Uygur ’20 was one of the students who presented art in the slideshow. Courtesy of Mrs. Westcott

In addition, Upper School Photography Teacher Ms. Deschler-Canossi presented a slideshow of students’ photography from Photography I, Photography II, Photography III, Advanced Portfolio Photography I, Advanced Portfolio Photography II, and Advanced Photography III. Sophomore Peyton Lauricella played Achille-Claudes Debussy‘s Clair de Lune on the piano during the slideshow.
In addition to the music and visual art, the Celebration of the Arts event highlighted the work of Upper School drama students. Junior Cara Janney and senior Abby Leyson co-wrote and co-directed a play, The Renewal. Cara also performed in the play alongside students from Drama I, II, and III.
The Renewal, a story of self-image and acceptance, centers around a young woman‘s family and her relationship with her husband,” Cara said. “Taking place in 1975 Chicago, 25-year-old Dahlia struggles with balancing outward image and inner happiness. Because Sacred Heart is a community made up of young women, Abby and I thought this would be a theme that resonates with many and could spark conversation and thought.”
Isabella Quinson ’20, Caitlyn Mitchell ’20, Cara Janney ’19, and Sara Hecht ’19 acted in the student-written play The Renewal. Courtesy of Ms. Zurheide

Although Cara is in Drama III and Abby is in Drama IV, the two classes meet together to foster collaboration across grade levels. The duo also designed a set and created costumes for each character.

The play, Abby explains, aims to provoke thought in the audience about how to handle difficult situations. Previously, Abby wrote and directed a brief play titled She Will, which premiered at the Celebration of the Arts last year.
“This year, the message we want to send to the Sacred Heart community is realizing your self-worth and empowering yourself by making the best choices in a tough situation,” Abby said. By ‘best choice,’ I mean choosing what will truly make you happy.
– Mae Harkins, Staff Writer
Featured Image by Mae Harkins ’20