Thursday, January 21, 2010

Show choir attends Disney workshop

The St. Bernard Show Choir recently attended Disney’s Magic Music Days in Orlando, Florida. Show Choir director, Dr. Rebecca Whited said, “We were very excited to participate in this workshop designed especially for our choir.”

Early in the semester, Whited submitted a video to the Disney team to evaluate the show choir’s performance level. After an extensive review, they were invited to attend the workshop. The musical advisors worked with the group on singing, communicating the song, stage presence and choreography.

Elizabeth Schweers, a senior at St. Bernard, said the trip was amazing. “I remember when we were thinking about going to Disney. None of us thought it would happen, but we were pleasantly surprised when we started our fund raising efforts.”

The workshop proved to be beneficial to all students. Disney instructors conveyed to students the importance of having the ability to sing, dance and act. One of the Disney instructors said, “Every performance has to tell a story which can not be done with just a pretty voice and a spiffy dance step. A story must be told using facial features and one’s composure.”

At the beginning of the workshop, students did some warm up vocal work and elementary dance steps. Schweers said, “We ran through the music a few times, and then it was time to learn the dance.” Even though it was the most eagerly anticipated part of the workshop, according to Schweers it was also the most feared. “Thomas, our instructor, told us the best way to remember our dances were through word association,” continued Schweers. “The dance was pretty intense, but everyone loved it.”

At the final dress rehearsal, students had to sing, dance, and let their expressions tell the story. During their performance, the show choir was surprised by an appearance of Minnie Mouse. Whited said, “When she walked in, it was as if everyone stopped dancing. They were so surprised.”

While at Disney the students enjoyed the theme parks as well. Whited, speaking on behalf of the show choir, thanked Fr. Joel Martin , Headmaster at SBP, for the opportunity to attend this workshop. She also conveyed her appreciation for the work done by the chaperones, Dr. Genero Varquez, Dr. James Gauthier, Mrs. Valerie Ginas, Miss Katie Hawkins, and Br. Peter Chi.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

St. Bernard participates in Cullman Honor Band

St. Bernard Preparatory School participated in the 27th Annual Cullman County Honor Band held January 16 at Wallace State College in Hanceville. The Honor Band was comprised of two hundred and twenty-five of the county’s top musicians from ten junior high and senior high school bands.

Students arrived at Wallace State on Friday evening and were judged according to several criteria. These included the playing of various types of musical scales, performing a prepared selection, and “sight reading” a piece that was completely new.

On Saturday students met at 8:30 am and rehearsed all day to prepare music for the concert Saturday evening. The Junior High Honor Band under the conduction of Michael Holmes, Mountain Brook School, played The Great Escape by Robert W. Smith; Accidentally in Love by Michael Sweeney; and Joshua by Andrew Balent. St. Bernard Middle School student, Daniel Coccia was first chair in the tenor saxophone competition and his classmate, Jake Sweeney, was seated third chair with his alto saxaphone.

Dr. Sue Samuels, Professor of Music, University of Alabama – Birmingham, conducted the Senior High Honor Band as they played four tunes: Host of Freedom by Karl L. King; Credo by Alabama Native, Robert W. Smith; A Kindred Spirit by Robert Sheldon; and Josef Zawinal’s - Birdland.

Mark McDaniel, a sophomore at SBP, earned the 15th spot of twenty-seven students in the trumpet section.

SBP Band Director, Lester Harris, said, “I am very proud of the progress our students are making. It’s quite an undertaking to play all those pieces in such a short amount of time.”

At the closing of the performance Dr. Samuels said what these students accomplished over the weekend would have taken seven days of class time to complete. “You are to be commended for your hard work and dedication. You learned in one weekend what it would have taken a whole week to accomplish in class.” Dr. Samuels concluded her remarks by encouraging students to participate in as many college honor bands as possible.

The event was sponsored by the Cullman Band Directors Association and Wallace State Community College.

Friday, January 15, 2010

St. Bernard to participate in Honor Band

Students Jacob Sweeney and Dan Coccia work with Band Instructor, Lester Harris on the Cullman County Honor Band music. Students will travel to Wallace State Friday evening and be judged according to the following: playing a scale, playing three scales chromatically adjacent, playing a chromatic scale, and then playing a prepared piece. Finally, the student has to “sight read” a piece that is completely new to them. They will then be awarded a ranking in the competition and get ready to prepare a concert on Saturday evening with more than 250 of Cullman County's finest school musicians.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bloomin' Festival Grand Prize

Fr. Marcus Voss, President of St. Bernard Preparatory School, takes the keys to the 2010 Ford Focus to be given away at the school's 26th Annual Bloomin' Festival Arts and Crafts Fair on April 17-18 from Mike Eckenrod of Eckenrod Ford. Ticket donations are being accepted now! The car will be on display at Ave Maria Grotto daily until the day of the festival.

Other prizes being awarded are: 2 nights at Zoder's Inn, Gatlinburg, TN; Apple iPod touch; Garmin GPS Navigator; and a Phillips Digital Photoframe.

We ask a donation of $5 for one ticket or $25 for six tickets. Please send a note along with a check made payable to St. Bernard Prep School to 1600 St. Bernard Drive, SE, Cullman, AL 35055.

Flu shots administered at St. Bernard Prep

More than 30 students, faculty and staff members took advantage of a voluntary (H1N1) flu shot clinic held at St. Bernard Preparatory School on January 13. Cullman County Health Department nurses, Johnie Copeland and Crystal Page administered the shots in the Brahma Room at St. Bernard Dining Hall. The Alabama Dept of Public Health offers this service free of charge to all schools in the state.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pudles wins Spelling Bee again

Congratulations to Sadie Pudles on winning the St. Bernard Middle School Spelling Bee for the second time. Pudles correctly spelled fallacy to win the competition. Logan Ayers came in second having mispelled rutabaga. Congratulations to both on a job well done!

Ms. Martha Warnke, competition coordinator, SBP Middle School Headmaster, Mr. John Tekulve, and Spelling Bee pronouncer, Mr. Ernest Hauk, Principal at Sacred Heart School in Cullman congratulate Sadie and Logan on their outstanding performance.