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Nashville Christian high school students are bringing the events surrounding Bloody Sunday to the main stage. Set in Ireland during the Troubles of the 1970s, Laura Lundgren Smith’s The Shape of the Grave introduces us to Colleen who is desperate to find meaning in her own life after tragedy has taken half of her family. NCS actors have spent weeks exploring Irish history, eating Irish food, and interviewing the author of the play. When asked why Lundgren Smith chose to write this historical play for young actors she replied, “because people underestimate teenagers.” NCS actors also worked with renowned acting and dialect coach Jill Massey on their Northern Irish accents to accurately portray this historical piece of literature that has modern-day relevance. Veteran US Marine Jordan Pritchard shared his experience behind the wire in Afghanistan, and our actors have found the insights he offered extremely valuable in informing their acting.
This is a fantastic show for anyone who wants to open a dialogue about the power of understanding history, the importance of avoiding violence, or the despair that can accompany circumstance. Madison Gupton, a junior, plays the main character Colleen and states, “It’s important to see this play, especially today since the world is so divided, and there is so much fighting everywhere. This play makes you step back and think about the bigger picture.” The Shape of the Grave will be performed in conjunction with Annie Jr. on October 5 and 6. Childcare will be provided for free during the performance of The Shape of the Grave so patrons can bring the whole family to enjoy Nashville Chrisitan Schools’ Weekend of One Acts. Annie JR will be at 2:00 PM and 6:30 PM on Saturday and at 2:00 PM on Sunday with The Shape of the Grave following immediately after at 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM on Saturday and 4:00 PM on Sunday. Tickets are $10 general admission for the combined showcase and can be ordered online at https://ncseagles.ejoinme.org/oneactweekend2019 or purchased at the door.
Kayce Green, Fine Arts Director at Nashville Christian School, was selected to attend the 2019 Tennessee Arts Academy this past July. She was one of only 15 administrators chosen out of hundreds of applicants. The Academy, the nation's premier summer teacher training institute for K–12 arts education, invited more than three hundred and fifty K-12 public and private school teachers from across the state to attend the week-long session. A program of the Tennessee Department of Education, the Academy has been held annually since 1986 on the campus of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
This year the Academy's nationally and internationally renowned instructors came from across the United States to teach a diverse range of classes in music, theater, visual art, and dance as well as special classes in arts leadership, administration and assessment.
There were many special moments throughout the week, starting with TAA’s opening performance on July 14th by the cutting-edge ensemble Presidio Brass. On Wednesday night, July 17, the most anticipated event of the Bravo! Awards Banquet and Performance was the presentation of the TAA Lorin Hollander Award to arts and education advocates Jeanette and Bill Watkins and the TAA Distinguished Service Award to the acclaimed Broadway director and choreographer Jeff Calhoun (Newsies, The Will Rogers Follies). Following the awards ceremony, an inspired performance by Broadway star Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King,Ragtime) was presented.
Other major highlights of the week included a speech on Monday to the TAA participants by the noted St. Olaf Choir conductor Anton Armstrong, followed on Tuesday by a presentation from the best-selling author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds. Award recipient Jeff Calhoun and performer Alton Fitzgerald White also addressed the participants. Rounding out the week were performances by Nashville Ballet (72 Steps), Nashville Children’s Theatre (Tuck Everlasting), and the percussion ensemble Sympatico. At Friday’s concluding Finale Luncheon, the Joe W. Giles Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to the award- winning, long-serving Tennessee visual art educator Donna Anderson, followed by a performance of the Tennessee Arts Academy Chorale, under the direction of Alan McClung. Nashville Christian School was honored as a Tennessee Arts Academy School of Distinction at the luncheon.
The teachers and administrators trained at the Tennessee Arts Academy each year impact over 150,000 Tennessee students all across the state when they return to their individual school districts and classrooms in the fall. The Academy's advanced curriculum, cutting-edge methodology and unique philosophical perspective maximize participants' learning experiences. NCS Fine Arts Director Kayce Green said, “It was enlightening to learn a great deal on how much the public schools and state standards are researched, written, applied, and documented in the state systems compared to private schools. This conference allowed me to see what works across the board, what we are doing well, and how we can improve. I was able to compare our fine arts opportunities with other schools and systems, and I personally had the distinct opportunity to help with defining teaching standards across the state and finalizing the provisions and prerequisites for schools both private and public to be able to apply to become Tennessee Arts Schools. I also spent some time working towards writing and applying for fine arts grants and scholarships. I was very encouraged about the fine arts program we offer at NCS and look forward to its continued growth and development.”
15 days. 47 people. Innumerable hours traversing Ireland and the United Kingdom by bus. Less than innumerable bathroom breaks. Nashville Christian students, teachers, parents, and faculty set off to Scotland, Ireland, England, and Wales this summer to explore some of the notable sites these countries have to offer. Here’s what you missed on the 2019 NCS International Trip.
We started off in Ireland on a tour our bus driver Francis called the “ABC tour” (another bloody castle tour). We saw many castles, all of which were striking and worth exploring. To get a unique view of Ireland we did a jaunty tour at Killarney. We piled into the horse-drawn carriages and enjoyed picturesque views of the Irish countryside. The color green seemed different in Ireland: brighter, cleaner. No one could deny how beautiful the country was.
After our adventures in Ireland, we took a ferry to Wales. We went to an unfinished castle and struggled to find a staircase that actually led anywhere. Getting lost in a castle in Wales was a treat. Speaking of treats, at nearly every stop, somebody (or everybody) bought some ice cream. This sweet treat was the featured dessert of our trip. It seemed like every city had the best ice cream in the world.
Now in the UK, we boarded a new coach and started our trek. We drove through Wales and stopped a few times to enjoyed the views before we arrived in Edinburgh, our home for the next few days. With our free time in the city, we shopped, hiked, and ate. A few of us climbed Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano. Our tour guide Margaret left us for a few days to have tea with the Queen. We helped her with her fashion choices before the big day, too. Personally, Edinburgh was one of the best stops for me, and I really enjoyed goofing around with friends and teacher. That was the best part of the trip, honestly. I was able to bound with my old teachers on a more personal level and also got to know people from school that I had very few interactions with before this.
In the last days of the trip we saw Stirling Castle and Windsor Castle. We also explore Anne Hathaway’s cottage and Shakespeare’s birthplace, as well as English poet William Wordsworth’s house and garden. I loved seeing the homes of people I have learned about in history and English class. It was a fascinating way to connect the past to the present. Walking Wordsworth’s garden, I understood why he was inspired to write so much poetry about the value of life and living it truly. I never wanted to leave.
All in all, this trip was one of the best of my life. I got to bond with everyone, and I saw some of the magnificent wonders this world has to show us. It inspired me to keep exploring. I encourage you to go on one of these trips. I learned a lot about the United Kingdom and its history, but I learned even more about the people I so often interact with without truly getting to know. I think it’s a great opportunity for anyone who can take advantage of it. I’m truly glad that I did.
This past season we have had tremendous growth in the size of our high school track and field program. We have gone from having only five male members last season to having 20 male members and 12 female members participating this season. We experienced tremendous growth and success with our student-athletes during the regular season that led us to the Region Championship, which is our opportunity to qualify for the State Track Meet.
The week of the region, our girls team finished 5th out of 16 teams and accumulated 14 Region medals qualifying four girls for the state meet. Our boys team finished 7th out of 16 teams and accumulated 16 region medals qualifying two for the state meet. In the state meet we had four athletes medal, sophomore Harris Adams and junior Brittany Lawless-Sherrill in the Shot Put, junior Dakota Owens in the 100m Dash and freshman Olivia Marlin in the 400m. All of this was accomplished without a track or appropriate training facilities on the NCS campus.
Coach Ronnie Seigenthaler has presented a plan for a new track training area and has begun raising funds for the project. The plans include seven lanes at 50 meters long and areas for shot, discus, high jump, long jump and pole vault. We feel that there is a genuine excitement for the track and field team at NCS, and we know that with the completion of this track training project, Nashville Christian can be an up-and-coming power in track and field!