As the school year comes to an end, some of the annual events we were looking fondly towards are not on the calendar due to the shelter in place order. One of these events is the "A Little Song and Dance" performance. However, Mr. Potter has a little surprise to share with his amazing students and the entire Oakwood community. He has created an incredible video of his students performing "Tuxedo Junction."
At Oakwood, we believe that balance is essential. While we engage in remote learning, students enjoy spending time in their online classes, but it is also vital for them to learn and create offline as well. In art class this week, Oakwood Elementary students were given the assignment of creating a color wheel by using found objects around their homes. The outer ring was to showcase primary and secondary colors, while the center objects represented neutral colors. We think they did a fantastically colorful job!
Oakwood's beautiful new Gwendolyn Riches Liberal Arts Center Theatre had its debut performance on October 25th and 26th with the high school comedy "Here Comes the Judge." The rapid comedic dialogue, superb acting, and zany characters in this play held the audience's attention. Thank you to everyone who came out to support Oakwood's Performing Arts Program and the cast, tech crew, creative staff, and parent volunteers and supporters for their time, talent, and hard work putting the show together.
Actress Cecelia Ticktin, the current Elphaba Standby in the National Broadway Tour of Wicked, graciously came to speak to Oakwood's Performing Arts Students on Wednesday. Ticktin recounted that at the age of ten, during a Broadway performance of Les Miserables, after feeling a connection with the lead actor, she decided to pursue a career as a Broadway actor. While speaking to the students, Ms. Ticktin relayed it was her willingness to work much harder than others, an enormous amount of perseverance, and a slight touch of delusion, that allowed her to pursue her lofty goals and finally achieve her dream role. Click "Read More" for details.
Aiden Huang, an Oakwood High School student, had the incredible opportunity to play his violin at Carnegie Hall in New York City, this past May at the International Piano and String Competition 2019 Winner Recital. Aiden was invited to play by American Protégé after being chosen as an Honorable Mention Winner for the Junior category of the competition. He decided to perform "The Boy Paganini" by Mollenhauer. Aiden has participated in the San Jose Youth Symphony for the past six years. He enjoys playing violin in the orchestra setting; however, after watching his sister perform at Carnegie Hall last summer, Aiden was inspired to see if he was capable of playing solo; therefore he entered this year's competition. It was an exhilarating moment for Aiden, especially after seeing many great musicians performed on the stage. During the Winner Recital, each musician needed to deliver their performance successfully to receive the award. It was indeed a fantastic experience for Aiden. He not only was allowed to travel to New York City and play on the iconic stage but also met new friends who are also very talented violinists.
During Oakwood's week-long Artapalooza Camp, students explored many different mediums of art. They created personalized ceramic mugs, and many of the campers opted for an animal theme. They spent time over a few days creating pillows by tie-dying cloth, stamping designs, and sewing them by hand. The campers also created Japanese marbled paper, designed dragon eyes from clay, tackled drawing experiments, and undertook other mediums as time allowed.This camp was an incredible experience for the students enabling them to test their creativity during each project. The final art pieces displayed the unique individuality of these young artists.
The first grade students did an incredible job in their musical, Sing a Song of Aesop! Five of Aesop's beloved fables came to life in this fun filled, upbeat musical. The featured fables were: The Tortoise and the Hare; The Country Mouse and the City Mouse; The Ant and the Grasshopper; The Boy Who Cried, "Wolf" and The Lion and the Mouse. These young actors did a sensational job showing the audience that morals can be fun to learn!
You could almost feel the tropical breeze and smell the salt of the ocean in the air as Oakwood's high school theater students took the audience on a journey to Once On the This Island. The beautiful music and lighting for this production set the stage as the actors tell the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl, who rescues a wealthy boy from the other side of the island, Daniel, with whom she falls in love. Unbeknownst to Ti Moune, the pompous gods who preside over the island make a bet with one another over which is stronger, love or death, the stakes being Ti Moune's life. When she pursues Daniel, who has returned to his people, Ti Moune is shunned because of her lowly status. Her determination and capacity to love, though, is not enough to win Daniel's heart. If you haven't yet had a chance to see this production there are three more performances next week; it is a show you do not want to miss!
"I think there is beauty in everything. What 'normal' people perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it." Alexander McQueen. This quote was used in a geometry project by freshman Noah Chin. The assignment was to illustrate triangles in real life. Noah's project is an excellent example of a student delving deeper into a fundamental subject, in this case geometry, and using his passion for fashion to elevate his work. Representing ten different triangles, all showcased as clothing and accessories, Noah created his own issue of Vogue.
Congratulations to Oakwood 8th Grade student Rhea S. for being selected into the iTheatrics summer workshop this July. Rhea has an opportunity to perform in a brand new adaptation of a musical in a workshop setting in New York City! For these workshops, iTheatrics casts an ensemble of actors who spend the week working with professional theater artists learning vocal techniques and advanced performance skills that culminate in a staged reading. This workshop will be attended by the students' families, invited educators, and the authors of the show. Bravo Rhea!
The Oakwood High School vocal and jazz ensembles were delighted to welcome jazz legend Nate Pruitt to their classrooms on Tuesday, February 26. Mr. Pruitt is acclaimed as "the finest jazz scatting vocalist on the West Coast" (Good Times, Santa Cruz, CA). He has performed and recorded with a host of jazz legends including the great Quincy Jones. Today, he is a highly regarded member of the Bay Area jazz scene. Click "Read More" for details.
Our second-grade students delighted their audiences during the adorable musical "It's a Jungle Out There!" This heart-warming play showed that the true meaning of happiness is not power and fame, but treasured friendships and life's simple pleasures. Special thanks to all those who helped the students prepare for and put on this wild production, and congratulations to the entire second-grade class on two well-done performances!
The Art 1 class has been creating some wonderful black-and-white drawings exploring texture and three dimensional effects. Students worked from observation and imagination to create the drawings. The slideshow gives examples of the work done by Carolyn Burback, Allie Purtell, Mara Roldan, Noah Chin, John Selby, Carmine D'Elia.
Audiences were delighted as the Middle School Musical students sang and danced their way into hearts during this week's performances of Hairspray Jr., as they told the story of one girl's inspiring dream to dance and change the world. The 1950s are out, and change is in the air! The show celebrates students' diversity and brings audiences to their feet with its positive message and uproarious sense of humor. It is clear the amount of time, dedication and effort put forth by our students and faculty was huge! If you didn't have the opportunity to see this great show on Thursday, you still have time to make it to their last performance on Friday at 7:00 pm in the Oakwood Barn.
A group of Oakwood Middle and High School performing arts students participated in the Junior Theater Festival (JTF), February 8-10, 2019 in Sacramento, taking home a trophy for Excellence in Dance. Sophomore Konark Vinod and 8th Grader Tegan Leong were also selected as all-stars for a special performance, in which Konark had a terrific solo. Click "Read more" below to here details about their experience at JTF.
On Saturday, February 2nd Jazz Ensemble students from Oakwood participated in the California Music Educators Association Bay Section Jazz Festival at Gunn High School in Palo Alto. They were awarded Universal Superior, which is the highest rating achievable! This event is designed to evaluate a group's overall performance quality and to motivate group and individual achievement. This was the first time an instrumental group from Oakwood has participated in a California Music Educators Festival. We are proud of our Oakwood students for a remarkable first performance at this festival!
Oakwood's talented students put on an incredible show Saturday night for the enjoyment of family and friends. The night began with the Middle School and High School JTF participants showcasing the selections of Hairspray Jr. that they will be performing at the Junior Theater Festival in February. Then the high school drama students performed individual monologues from the humorous to the dramatic. Additionally, they acted in small one-act scenes that they wrote, directed and executed themselves. Thank you to everyone that came to support these hard-working students!
Oakwood fifth grade students put on quite a show in their musical performance of "The Great Ghost Chase." A poltergeist haunted an asylum, creating dangerous mischief. To add to the antics, the patients locked up the staff and nobody could tell who was a patient and who was staff. As chaos unfolded the 'Ghostchasers' showed up grooving to the 'Ghostchasers' rap, led by the head Honcho. The number was an audience favorite, as the actors rapped and danced, loaded with their arsenal of kooky weapons. With the nonstop action, everybody from the poltergeist to the cabdriver to the asylum patients did an excellent job of keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.
Oakwood High School drama hosted the annual Monologue Night on Saturday, January 20th, 2018. Students of all levels from beginners to advanced entertained the audience with Shakespeare,"How To Train Your Dragon" and Helen Keller's "The Miracle Worker" among others. Students also acted in small one-act scenes that they wrote, directed and executed themselves! One of the highlights was the finale performance of the famous Abbott and Costello routine, "Who's on First?". The audience laughed, they cried and laughed some more.