Archive for the ‘Performing Arts’ Category

Club 26944

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

Yesterday, PHS was flashed back to 1975!
“Welcome to Club 26944,” began one of our Fourth Graders at yesterday’s Mothers’ Day assembly. “This is a place of respect, where we seize every opportunity to let all of our members shine!”
And shine they did as our Fourth Graders shared stories of learning life lessons from their moms.
“All the moms at Club 26944 became members,” explained Catherine, “because they are forward thinking and want us to belong to a school community that respects individual gifts.”
“And,” continued Marcus, “we want all you moms to know how grateful we are for joining this exclusive club and for all the wonderful things you do for us!”
These students went on to celebrate the Disco Era with music and dance under the direction of our fabulous Ms. Deb Wilcox, which was further enlivened by two surprise faculty guests at the Club – Mr. Ahn and Mr. Zack!
What a delight to conclude the program with all our moms joining their children and sharing disco dance moves with each other!

Behind the Scenes

Saturday, February 4th, 2017

Once again, our youngest students amazed us with their recent performance at our All-School Assembly on Dads & Granddads Day.
So let’s take a peek behind the scenes and see how our talented faculty plan and rehearse for this amazing event. At Peninsula Heritage, this is never a cookie-cutter approach. Rather, the songs and the choreography are selected to highlight our students’ particular likes and abilities.Dancing
Way back in December, Miss Deborah Wilcox, our Dance and Drama teacher, came to the Primary Center and began leading movement games with the children; the children learned to know and trust Miss Deb, and vice versa. She taught the students the songs and provided the teachers with the written words and a CD of the songs, so the teachers could incorporate these in the course of a day’s activities.
For the speaking parts, each child shared with one of her teachers what things they like about their dad. These thoughts were transcribed onto strips of paper, and during rehearsals in the classroom, each child stepped to a pretend microphone and spoke his part.
“These children are like sponges!” remarked teacher Christy Burden. “Within a short time, each child knew everyone else’s part!”Three Beards
For their costumes, the children brought in several of their favorite t-shirts, and working with Miss Deb, the best shirt was chosen for the performance.
Now it was time to bring it all together, still in the classroom in order to build the children’s confidence. With tape strips on the floor to aid the students in their dance and speaking positions, they rehearsed and became comfortable with the flow of the performance. Only then did they go out into the Amphitheater for their final rehearsals. This approach is designed to build self-assurance at each level of the performing process.
We all saw their fabulous performance! The children were enthusiastic and projected energy and happiness as they sang, danced, and spoke their parts – a wonderful example of our extraordinary Performing Arts program AND our talented students!

Choir Performs at Festival

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

Proudly wearing their blue choir robes, our PHS Student Choir enthusiastically started their performance at Torrance Memorial’s Holiday Festival with the Full Choirupbeat “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm!”
Participating in the Medical Center’s three-day long Festival was a first for our PHS Choir, with parents, friends, PHS faculty, staff, and Mrs. Cailler fully enjoying this holiday experience amid the Festival’s gorgeously decorated trees.
Previously, the choir has only sung at campus events. Knowing that this performance was upcoming, the Choir has been enthusiastically practicing and anticipating this event.
PHS Choir Director and Music Teacher Mr. Charley Miller shares the following beautiful experience that occurred at the Festival:Four Girls
“As we arrived at our location prior to performing, a musician was playing Christmas songs on the piano. Spontaneously, one by one, our Choir members gathered around her and began to sing. It was a wonderful and completely impromptu experience.”
Mr. Miller continues, “The parents of our Choir members were incredibly supportive and relished this experience.”
“We really liked singing Christmas songs for our parents and with our friends,” exclaimed a youthful choir member, following the choir’s closing number, “In the Spirit.”
The Festival’s beginning stretches back to 1984 when a group of Torrance Memorial volunteers launched this unique community festival to directly benefit the Medical Center and the care it provides to citizens of the South Bay.
What a wonderful way for our students to begin the holiday season!

Second Grade’s Shakespeare Production

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

Shakespeare in Second Grade? Yes, at Peninsula Heritage School! Our Second Graders were recently immersed in studying the Bard, his time period, and his works. Directed by their teacher, Mrs. Esturain, the children created timelines with illustrations and built a personal model of the Globe Theater. Each student also read one of Shakespeare’s plays in story form. On “Shakespeare Craft Day” the Second Graders made masks, created flower crowns, and painted family coats of arms.
Using a children’s script of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” the students took ownership of their parts while rehearsing and memorizing their lines. With musical assistance from Mr. Charley
Miller, and backstage costume changes with Miss Mervette and Miss Carolina, this magical production in our Amphitheater was enthusiastically received by parents and PHS students.
“This experience helped to increase the children’s confidence,” relates Mrs. Esturain, “and also formed a foundation for understanding Shakespeare’s works.”
Successful productions are followed by great after-parties, and this was no exception. Volunteer parents Mrs. Merilee Brooks and Mrs. Latifa Willoughby helped prepare the red carpet sprinkled with stars leading into the classroom where a tasty selection of cupcakes with butterflies and flowers, Pinkberry frozen yogurt, and delicious fresh fruit awaited these young thespians and Shapespeare scholars.

Cool Jazz from the American Songbook

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

“At last week’s Mothers’ Day Assembly, The Fourth Graders personified the cool jazz of ‘Bye, Bye, Blackbird,’” relates Ms. Deb Wilcox, PHS Theater Arts Teacher. “With their black bowler hats, black shirts, and black pants, they easily embodied the different rhythm and tempo changes of the piece, utilizing their acting, singing, and dancing skills. In addition, their ‘Mom-a-Logs’ were so truthful and were spoken right from their hearts.”
“Four members of our Sixth Grade Audio/Tech Elective were at the soundboard for this assembly,” adds Mr. Charley Miller, PHS Music Teacher. “These students are learning the basics of operating the speakers and microphones in our sound system during our weekly class, and when they function as a technical crew during our assemblies, their learning is greatly enhanced.”
Another unique feature of last week’s assembly was a sneak peek at the Second Graders’ upcoming Shakespeare comedy, “Midsummer Night’s Dream,”! Mark your calendars for Thursday, May 26th at 1:30 pm for what is sure to be an impressive performance in our Amphitheater by these young thespians.

The Story Behind the Scenes

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

“This is the 13th year of the Fifth Grade Play,” relates Fifth Grade teacher Ms. Kimarie Lynn, “and each year this musical is very different from the others! We specifically tailor each year’s production to the interests and talents of the students and the personality of that particular Fifth Grade class.””
“There are no auditions for the roles – the students pick their characters,” continues Ms. Lynn. “Most of them have gone to the play in prior years and have already selected the roles they wish to play. With new students, I give them a DVD of the play from last year, ask them to watch it at home, and then they choose who they wish to portray. We make sure that there are no minor roles in this musical; every student has an opportunity in the spotlight.
“In addition, the production itself changes each year. Ms. Kat Banales is masterful at sprinkling into the script little bits of very current American culture or adapting the dialogue to fit a student’s desire to take on more lines. Mr. Miller knows the students’ voices from Music Class, and he makes suggestions for solos and duets. Ms. Deb Wilcox designs new choreography that enhances each student’s dancing talent on the stage of the Norris Theatre. Almost every year we change the quantity of production numbers, the duration of the musical, and the number of transitions in front of the curtain. Ms. Terry Metzenbaum handles a myriad of tasks including costumes and props, and this year Mr. Zach Lorenz joined our team and was superb in coaching and instilling within our students the very human aspect of American history.”
“The students truly learn early American history as well as the flow or timeline of the events in that period,” Ms. Lynn relates. “They recognize the actions that led to the consequences of that time. Of equal importance, they become more confident in their speaking skills in front of a group, realize the importance of preparation and practice, and come to truly enjoy the entire experience.”
“We have our Academy Awards on a day following the play, where each student sits on a stool in front of the class, and peers share positive experiences with this child that occurred during the practices and on performance night. There are no “bests” awarded – we feel that all the students have exhibited truly outstanding work.”
“Finally, the children write a five-paragraph reflective essay, sharing how they employed the school’s Six Character Qualities to achieve success throughout the entire production process!”
“We’ve found that this theatrical experience has far-reaching results; alumni who return often relate that this musical is their favorite PHS memory!”

“History Comes Alive!”

Friday, March 11th, 2016

“This is educational theater at its best!” explains Fifth Grade teacher Ms. Kimarie Lynn, producer and director of this annual PHS show. “The children sing, dance, and act out important moments in early American history. When they return to PHS years later, they share with us instances in their high school history classes when they were one of the very few who remembered key points in the history of this country!”
Thanks go to our fantastic Fifth Grade students for developing and sharing their talents in this theatrical production, as well as to the Kindergarten and Second Grade classes that will be featured in this year’s play. We also thank the parents of our student performers who have made the necessary changes in their schedules to accommodate the students’ rehearsals and also providing snacks for the young thespians.
Many of our very talented PHS faculty and staff assist in presenting this fabulous event. Kudos to Language Arts Enrichment Teacher, Kat Banales, for enhancing this often-humorous script to reflect and include current American culture at an age-appropriate level as well as the crucial role of many women in the Revolutionary War period.
The show’s inventive choreography is the creation of our own Dance and Drama Teacher, Deb Wilcox. Music is under the direction of Music Teacher Charley Miller, and Fifth Grade’s Teacher Support, Terry Metzenbaum, oversees costumes, makeup, and props. Zach Lorenz works with the boys in battle scenes and in the famous “Crossing of the Delaware,” and Seventh Grade Teacher Liz Lomeli designs and produces the Playbill.
Be sure to attend this amazing event suitable for all ages! Purchase your tickets now in the School Office, at the Norris Theatre Box Office, or online at (under “Buy Tickets”). See you there!

The Beginning Was Here

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Her class’s performance at last year’s All-School Assembly was just the beginning! As part of her grade’s participation in the 2015 Fifth Grade Play, she had a taste of performing on the Norris Theatre stage. Recently this budding thespian portrayed one of the townspeople in “Beauty and the Beast,” presented by ENCORE, a South Bay theater group.
Her Cast Biography from the “Beauty and the Beast” printed program states that this First Grader at Peninsula Heritage School “loves to read and she loves music. Eden is excited to be a part of ‘Beauty and the Beast.’”
“I got to wear my costume in the play,” she explains. “It was a blue dress with a white apron!”
Eden continues, “Meetings for the next play at ENCORE begin on September 12th, but I am going to do theater camps this summer.”
Her goal? “I want to be a pro on stage!”
Thanks go to the PHS Performing Arts Department for igniting this interest within one of our young students.

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