At Assembly on February 24, teachers from the Visual and Performing Arts Department took to the dais to honor several students for the T2 Williston Working Artist Awards. The awards are handed out to students that stole the show, so to speak, during Trimester 2, whether on stage or in the classroom. In total, seven students were honored during the assembly. Below are the honorees, and what was said about them during the assembly:
Versatility. Exuberance. Kindness. Quick changes. These are the words that come to mind when thinking of Nick and his work for this season’s musical. Whether a lobster, anemone, or sardine, he has taken on so many roles for this production with energy and enthusiasm. One of his largest roles was as a dance captain for the production. He memorized his choreography and helped his cast mates as well, leading warmups and reviewing routines. For his outstanding dedication to the production and to the success of his ensemble, this working artist award goes to Nick Sobon.
Amanda was a cast member and dance captain at this winter’s theater production of The SpongeBob Musical. As an actor, she explored creative approaches to her character that resulted in a comical and idiosyncratic take on the role of Squidward. Her skill and precision as a dancer were in full display throughout the musical, but particularly during a demanding tap sequence. And as a collaborator and leader, she approached her work with the utmost kindness, enthusiasm, and understanding. For fully carrying Squidward’s frown while onstage, but keeping a smile on her face otherwise, we present this working artist award to Amanda Yee.
“Blame the squirrel!” “Blame the squirrel!” Whenever I heard Onion Quan chanting these words onstage as Old Man Jenkins, I couldn’t help to think how ironic it was that we cast one of the kindest, most joyful, and loving people at Williston to portray such a resentful character. And yet, Onion excelled in the role: fully committing to the voice and physicality of the aged fish with consistency and gusto, staying in character whenever he appeared onstage. He fully embodied the spirit of silliness that characterizes The SpongeBob Musical, while beautifully singing and dancing in musical numbers of varying genres. For his precision in his work onstage, and his kind, joyful, and loving spirit in the rehearsal room, this working artist award goes to Onion Quan.
Parker worked as the assistant stage manager this winter’s theater production of The SpongeBob Musical. She split her time working on set construction with Mr. Raffetto, demonstrating great leadership in the scenic shop, and assisting the rehearsal process with Dr. Rodriguez, where her attention to detail and passion for the work were instrumental to the production’s success. She was responsible for coordinating the use of over 200 props, managing the stage crew, and supervising actor transitions backstage. For her joyous and collaborative spirit, especially during the most stressful times of the tech process, we present this working artist award to Parker Brown.
Pippa is a fixture in the painting studio. She is there when I arrive, when I pop in during free blocks to retrieve materials, during Ms. Hume’s painting class (in which she has never been enrolled) and when I leave. The hours she has invested in her work has resulted in impressive artistic growth and a refinement of her artistic style and vision. Pippa currently depicts themes of teen life on a remote island off the coast of Maine in a series of paintings she has been working on since the fall. She approaches her work with a dry wit and wonderfully quirky sensibility. We are excited to see where Pippa will go next year to explore the world of architecture and we hope she will come back to visit us often in the future.
Siga rivals Pippa in the number of hours she spends in the ceramics studio. Although she is proficient on the pottery wheel, her intricate vessel forms are mostly hand-built and conjure artifacts from a shipwreck with historic references and narrative overtones. She is ahead of her years in her ability to conceptualize complex and sophisticated themes as well as in her ability to execute the ambitious pieces she designs. Siga is a great communicator and it has been exciting to accompany her on her artistic journey. We are very proud of her accomplishments and we are excited to follow her trajectory next year as she continues her exploration of the world of ceramic art.
The Working Artist Award for Music goes to a Senior member of Honors Chamber Singers. This student was instrumental in producing this year’s enormously successful Winter Warmer, and she was also the director of Honors Chamber Singers performance of “White Winter Hymnal,” which we all saw recently in an assembly here. Please join me in recognizing Pierceson Squires.