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Deerfield’s Fall Art Showcase
sonja holmberg 11 staff writer
October 23, 2009

The Fall Arts Showcase, a medley of student music, dance, and theater performances will debut on Friday, October 23, of Parents’ Weekend in the large auditorium.

First in line for this three-program sampler is the music performance. With pieces from the Chamber Music class, the Friday Jazz Workshop, and various choral groups, the music department has a wide variety of students uniting to show off their abilities.

Director of Music Amy Shimbo described this year’s department as “a vibrant and active place with lots of students participating, and where individuals can pursue music making at its highest level.” She also emphasized how wonderful it is as a performer to “look out into the community and see so many supportive faces.”

The theater program’s portion is composed of four selected monologues and a song, all from the acting tutorial. Head of the Theater Department John Reese and student Jen Coulombe ’10 are the main directors of the three comedies and one serious drama. Like the music group, the acting group this year is diverse in student experience. Yet Mr. Reese insists the goal is simply “to entertain the audience after a long, busy day!”

The third portion, the Dance Showcase, includes student and professional choreography. Six dances, said Director of Dance Jennifer Whitcomb, will “aim to show a broad cross-section of Deerfield’s dance program.”

The student-choreographed pieces include a contemporary ballet piece by Daryl Cooley ’10; a swing dance duet by Andy Harris ’10 featuring himself and Alaina Belanger ’12; and a hip-hop quartet choreographed and performed by Kevin Cho ’10, Kim Gibbons ’10, Rachel Teague ’10, and Karon Hawkins ’11.

Professional choreography includes a modern piece by Billbob Brown, a dance professor at University of Massachusetts; an Advanced Dance Ensemble piece by Carrie Towle, an adjunct ballet teacher; and a contemporary jazz piece by Hillary Brooks, a Deerfield alum of ’02 and Middlebury graduate.

Ms. Whitcomb said her hope is to “display the most divergent styles and most experienced dancers” to emphasize the strength of Deerfield’s dance program.

The non-performance portion of this showcase is artwork from David Dickinson’s and Tim Trelease’s art classes. They will be displayed in the exhibition hallway, the Russell Gallery, and the Hilson Gallery.

Mr. Dickinson plans on presenting his advanced classes’ strongest examples of line weighting, sighting, and some completed renderings.

Mr. Trelease, Head of Visual Arts, will present student photography from the Round Square Competition in the Hilson Gallery and work from his AP Photo class in the Russell Gallery. His other classes will have their work up in the Arts Center’s Student Galleries.

Studio art and three performing arts programs “coming together on the stage,” as Jen Whitcomb said, is a truly wonderful thing. “It’s really important to put the arts programs front and center at the beginning of the year so that people will feel inspired to sign up for them.”

In any case, this will be a chance for students and teachers alike to raise awareness of Deerfield’s hidden strengths. As always, this Fall Arts Showcase is bound to be a success.