The final assembly of the school year featured an announcement for the latest group of winners for the Williston Working Artist Award. Each trimester, the Visual & Performing Arts Department honors students that have gone above and beyond in their work. Below are the remarks that Department Chair Natania Hume said during the assembly.
One of the biggest compliments that we can give to Orion Minton ’23 is that the performers on our stage feel confident that their show will go well with him working backstage. He commits to knowing the show and knowing how he can be helpful to the performers and the production in ways beyond what is asked of him. Orion wants every show to go smoothly and invests his time and energy in making sure that it does. Congratulations to Orion for all of his years working in Tech Theater!
This first Working Artist award is given to a dancer with a vision. As a choreographer, they approached their project with focus and energy, creating a beautiful piece that employs deep musicality and nuance to display the complex relationships between the dancers. Their use of simple gestures combined with graceful technique made for a beautiful piece, one which you all had the pleasure of seeing last week. When working as a dancer, she committed fully to the tasks at hand in rehearsals, offering her fellow choreographers her utmost attention to the material and its details. Needless to say, she made a positive impact on the ensemble trimester, and so the Working Artist award is given to Daniela Metta ’24.
My next award is being given to a dancer who had no choice but to give their all. Walking into a studio filled with experienced dancers can be daunting, especially as a self-proclaimed absolute beginner. For the past seven weeks I have watched this dancer tackle choreography in the styles of jazz, k-pop, musical theater and contemporary. That’s right, not one, but four styles of movement were tossed their way. And did they flinch? Shy away? Nope. When asked “how is this? Do you think you have it?” This dancer paused thoughtfully then replied “not yet, but I will.” And he did. For perseverance, enthusiasm, and for trusting his instincts, I’d like to recognize Cannon Carr ’25.
The Williston Working Artist Award for Music goes to a student enrolled in Williston Scholars Performing Arts who has maintained the highest standards of academic excellence while working ardently to synthesize her knowledge of Chinese folk music with her love of the alto saxophone. This student’s leadership in Jazz Band is also noteworthy; she spearheaded recent performances of “You Belong With Me”, which brought joy to upper school assembly recently. Please join me in recognizing Lauren Yee ’23.
This student began teaching herself how to throw on the wheel during Arts Intensives one year ago this spring. With some guidance from fellow peers and then a Ceramics class this winter, her skills drastically improved. This student has been quite prolific this trimester as she works to throw, trim and experiment with glazes for her series of vases. We are so proud of how far she’s come and so this working artist award goes to Dire Adeosun ’23.
Although he has not been enrolled in any film making classes, this student is the ‘go-to’ technical expert for our student film makers. He is a drone pilot, Steadicam operator, and color grader. An active leader in the film club he contributes his time and expertise to nearly every production, including work for the dance performances, PSA’s and independent student films. The working artist award for trimester three goes to Aaron Hammer ’24.