Conservatory Kickoff: performing arts students come together for informational meeting

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by Nayeon Kim

On August 31, Upper School performing arts students, parents, and teachers gathered in the Blackford Theater for this year’s Conservatory Kickoff.

The meeting for current and new conservatory students provided information regarding classroom courses, workshop opportunities, and upcoming shows of the five performing arts programs: musical theater, vocal music, instrumental music, dance, and theater.

It also welcomed three new members to the conservatory staff: dance teachers Karl Kuehn and Amalia De La Rosa, as well as Jennifer Cowgill, the new director of Bel Canto.

One of the highlights of the kickoff was the announcement of the Spring Musical Drowsy Chaperone, a “fun” Broadway musical comedy, according to Performing Arts Director Laura Lang-Ree.
“I needed it to be a show that was exciting enough on the hills of the Fringe festival, of course. We’ve done dark for a while now. It’s time for a little happiness and lightness,” Lang-Ree said during the kickoff.
The event also featured an update by Executive Director of Advancement Joe Rosenthal on the status of building the performing arts center, as well as short skits performed by the Harker Improv Troupe.

After the general informational session from 6 to 7 p.m., new freshmen and sophomores interested in joining the Certificate program stayed longer to learn about majoring in one of the arts and participating in more extensive training.

“I’m pretty excited for what’s coming up: basically the idea that we’re going to be endeavoring in music for the next four years,” Jason Jeong (9) said.

Senior Melody Huang is also looking forward to enjoying her fourth and final year in the conservatory.
She said, “It’s cool that the conservatory is a big deal at this school that we have this event, and it’s cool how so many people are participating in it.”