ISSUE
FALL 2017

Looking for something outside the magazine?

  • Creating
  • The artistry of learning including, but not limited to, the creative arts
The Upper School Advanced Chamber Ensemble (ACE) in March brought a judge at a regional competition to tears with their interpretation of the Mendelssohn Trio. But it's not just ACE's melodies that move people. Through community-outreach projects such as annual half-day visits to Primary Children's Hospital, lighthearted, often-smiling Music Teacher Sarah Yoon fosters compassion in her students that seems to transfer to ACE's evocative performances.
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If you were lucky enough to attend one of Rowland Hall's performances of The Music Man November 10-11, chances are you left with an earworm. Meredith Wilson's musical about unlikely love developing between a traveling salesman—who has made a career out of swindling townspeople—and a savvy, late-blooming librarian is full of songs that will stick with you. "Ya Got Trouble," "Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little," and "Shipoopi" are some of the most memorable show tunes, and the music is one of theater teacher and director Gary Lindemann's favorite things about the show.
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Just when you thought those lazy, hazy, crazy days at SummerWorks couldn't get any better, Rowland Hall's summer camp rolls out its kid-friendly theater arts program, where campers can learn everything from improvisation to backstage skills.
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If you've been a second grader at Rowland Hall, or had a child or grandchild in second grade at Rowland Hall, chances are you remember the ancestor dolls project. It's been a staple of the springtime curriculum for at least 15 years, and while the core aspects of the project remain the same, the ancestor stories reflect historical changes and evolving global patterns.
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This year Rowland Hall's dance concert, titled "Wired," brought together dance, film, and live music to explore the burgeoning world of brain science. The artistic efforts of over 100 middle and upper schoolers brought "Wired" to the stage.
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Flowers propped against war memorials. Flags fluttering overhead. Metro trains whooshing out of tunnels toward platforms. During their annual trip to Washington, D.C., eighth graders captured a range of capital sites on camera—from the iconic to the ordinary—all with their own spin. When they returned to Salt Lake City, they worked with artist in residence Kirsten Hepburn to chose one image to edit, print, and display in an October 25 exhibit at the 15th Street Gallery.
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Now fully formed, the Larimer Center Gallery consists of nearly two dozen well-lit pieces hanging perfectly matted in silver frames. Fine Print asked student-artists with work displayed in the inaugural gallery to share their stories of inspiration and explain their creative processes. Read their answers alongside their art.
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On April 22, Earth Day, 17 middle and upper schoolers found out they'd turned trash into treasure. The students learned that a sustainability project they spearheaded won the Shane McConkey EcoChallenge's grand prize of $6,000 to benefit sustainability endeavors at Rowland Hall.
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Rowland Hall's 2016 interdisciplinary performance "Gallery" integrated music, art, dance, and creative writing in a showcase. Students said the collaboration inspired artistic growth within their own art and gave them a glimpse into other artistic worlds. Under the guidance of teachers Sofia Gorder, Allison Spehar, Bret Jackson, Jeremy Innis, Rob Mellor, and Joel Long, well over 100 student performers and stage techies contributed their skills and knowledge.
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In December, Rowland Hall Middle School English Teacher Mary Lawlor celebrated "Oprah Day" in her sixth-grade classroom. Student Drew Lang's mother, Jill Lang, had submitted a short essay in response to O magazine's seasonal prompt: "What is the greatest gift you've ever received?" Her essay was published among those of well-known authors, actors, musicians, poets, professors, and chaplains.
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Beginning the school year presents significant changes and challenges for parents and preschool-aged children. With this in mind, it is particularly important to create a calm-yet-dynamic environment for those who play and work within it. "Calm, beautiful environments resonate with young children," Beginning School Principal Carol Blackwell said. "It sends the message that children are important learners in this space."
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Arts education, experts write, helps students learn necessary skills for the workplace: flexibility, problem solving, communication, creativity, skill absorption, innovation, and motivation. Rowland Hall prides itself on its arts programs, and administrators and teachers understand that the arts are an important part of educating the whole child. The arts faculty consists of a talented group of teachers who inspire enthusiasm in students, spark their creativity, and develop their imaginations. Their classrooms, studios, and performance spaces are key to their ongoing successes. In recent years, the Larimer Center's technical capabilities have started to show their wear. Thank you to the R. Harold Burton Foundation, the performing arts center has received a much needed technology upgrade.
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The annual fall musical has long been a collaborative effort between theater, dance, and music that provides educators an opportunity to learn from each other, right alongside our students. As the bedrock for "The Road to Broadway" was laid, each teacher's different approach, style, and vision worked collaboratively to find "the best path forward." This collaboration resulted in a positive growth opportunity for all, teachers and students alike.
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This beautiful poem -- Coral Pink Sand Dunes -- was written and read by Upper School English teacher Joel Long at the reception following the funeral service of late, beloved biology teacher Peter Hayes. Peter, when he taught freshmen at Rowland Hall, spearheaded the ninth grade trip to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, memorable for the ninth grade teachers and hundreds of students who shared the experience. To read more about Mr. Hayes, please read the article in this issue of the Fine Print by Sam Galvez, '16.
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Library of Congress' Letters About Literature contest and Rowland Hall 5th grade teacher Sarah Button, students have found a good reason to write, stamp, and mail a letter to their favorite author.
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The annual dance concert this March, "Ground," featured all original work created by guest artists and student-dancers who were encouraged to mine their personal lives and experiences to generate choreographic material. The performance included 87 Rowland Hall students, ages 11 to 18, and dance forms ranging from ballet to modern to hip-hop. The evening began with a high-speed chase throughout the entire theatre and culminated in an intimate reflection on dancers' experiences of joy, sadness, and anger.
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Last spring, Andrew and his mother got creative in the kitchen and refreshed an old family recipe to make its ingredients healthier, yet still tasty. With their taste tests complete, they submitted their updated "New Polish Potatoes" recipe to a contest sponsored by The First Lady, Epicurious, the Department of Education, and the Department of Agriculture to promote healthy eating among America's youth. Much to their surprise and delight, out of more than 1,500 entries, their recipe was chosen to represent the state of Utah!
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We announced earlier this fall in the Flying Lion that Tesserae had won Gold Medal status from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for the second year in a row. Now we've learned that the student magazine added to its prestige with an All-American award from the National Scholastic Press Association. The following is the breakdown: Total points required for All-American status is 450; Tesserae received 563. That is a perfect score with 63 bonus points.
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As a way to model the creative process, Rowland Hall's eighth grade English students look at a wide range of poems and songs, paying special attention to the strengths that each one brings forth. Whether it's a discussion on Shakespeare's use of metaphor in "Sonnet 140" or Cake's imagery in "Short Skirt, Long Jacket," students see firsthand how they, too, can explore and take chances in their writing.
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Six grader James Quirk loved landing the title role in Oliver, but his favorite part of the experience was meeting new friends from various grade-levels and friendship groups.
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