Five days into the 2021-22 academic year, student musicians of the Performing Arts Department graced the Knights of Columbus Centennial Gala. The Ambassador Ensemble was led by Ms. Kelly Gentry. In May 2021, she created an octet and arranged the music for the students. Ms. Gentry sent the students home in June with music to be practiced and learned. The students had no rehearsal time with Ms. Gentry, yet somehow managed to create a wonderful experience.
On the evening of September 17, 2021, the students arrived with instruments in hand, some of them directly from a varsity volleyball game. They graced the cocktail hour with pieces by Beethoven, Purcell, Olivia Rodrigo, Pentatonix, and more. Guests at the event were delighted to see maturity and musicianship.
Members of the Ambassador Ensemble are Ava Snyder on Bass, Christina Huerta-Stylianou on trumpet, Julia DelPozzo and Amanda Kirkpatrick on Clarinet, Santina Madden, Ella Mingione, Carli Wallace and Ava Cheung on Violin. Guests included alumnae from Ursuline spanning several decades who were happy to see sophisticated and accomplished young women performing beautifully in the spirit of Serviam.
Eleven days into the school year, members of the Junior and Honors Choirs performed on September 25, 2021 at the “Saturday Stroll” event honoring, Eileen Davidson, former President of The Ursuline School and raising funds for our Innovation Campaign. Ms. Wendy Bryn Harmer, acclaimed international opera singer, Grammy winner, and soloist at the Metropolitan Opera, led them, with only two rehearsals. Students joyfully performed numbers from Germany, France, and the United States. Selections were For Good from Wicked, An Die Musik by Schubert and Il Est Né Le Divin Enfant, an ancient French Carol. At one point, they burst into song with Songs of a Disney Princess.
In the lobby, a trio from the Ambassador Ensemble performed repertoire as guests arrived. Singers at the event were Madeline Donovan, Kiera Barton, Lauren Barton, Kathleen Miller, Katherine Mehler, Mary Cinguina, Carly Tauber, Samantha Barca, Athena Madapatt, Sophia Santana, Hailey Raio, Emily Morillo, Elizabeth Ortiz, Leila Martinez, Lola Milazzo, Julia Ognibene, Madeleine Cockburn, and Charlotte Brawer. Instrumentalists were Ava Cheung, Ava Snyder, and Carli Wallace.
Dance clubs are under way, moderated by Mrs. Jenné Griffith, and organized by Co-Presidents Claire Caltabiano and Elizabeth Riccio. Students choreograph their own numbers and will perform in April. Groups include Choreographer’s Workshop, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Liturgical Dance and Ballet.
The fall drama production will be Clue, directed by drama teacher Ms. Edie Ann Reidy.
COVID-19 has been especially difficult for performing artists, particularly singers and wind players who rely on breath for sound. Masks are not ideal, but the students learned how to make the best sounds they can. They are doing what they love, making music, making new friends, and rekindling old friendships, masked and happy.
Ms. Rosemary Rossi Clarizio’89, Performing Arts Chair, said,"The Performing Arts Department is ecstatic to see the unbridled enthusiasm and absolute joy the student musicians exude when they are embodying Serviam through the Arts."