Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Some Jazz

Mambo InnThe Academy has always been a place to make music. That’s why for Hispanic Heritage Month, young jazz musicians chose to celebrate Hispanic culture with a little outdoor music. Jamming outside as busses roll in to start the day, arriving students were greeted with the sounds of Cuban jazz artist Paquito D’Rivera as the Academy Jazz ensemble played his piece “Mambo Inn.”

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Theater Alumni; Artist in Residence

Photo Courtesy of American Theatre
Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Half Day alumni Frankie Aliciea- Ford is the most recent artist in residence at New Village Arts in Carlsbad, CA.

At NVA, Alicea-Ford will be heading “Teatro Pueblo Nuevo” which is their bilingual theater outreach. He will be working within the theater educational programs to ensure that Latinx voices are celebrated within NVA.

Frankie Alecea studied theater at the Academy graduating in 2008. He later returned to the Academy to teach for a few years before moving out to California.

You can read the full story from American Theatre below.


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Senior Composition Concert 2020

Senior CompEach year seniors in the Dance Department choreograph and produce a Senior Concert through their Senior Composition Class. Traditionally performed at the end of May, students were in the middle of creating their dance pieces when school let out due to Covid-19. Within a week, they put together a plan to shift their focus from the stage to video, from working together in the studio to working remotely from home. With many thanks to director Corrine Bates and video editor Andrew Reardon, we share the Dance Department’s Class of 2020’s Senior Concert.

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Bandstand Boogie

BAndstand BoogieMusicians of all ages can’t help but to create music with other musicians. The most recent pandemic has challenged many in the music field to find ways to make and perform music while remaining safe through social distancing standards. One of the groups doing this are “The Real Ambassadors” the jazz choir from the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Half Day.

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Doing Theater Online

electricidadThe Academy is still doing art, despite social distancing. Here, you can check out two different theater piece done over video communications technology.

First, is a scene from Aluis Alfaro’s “Electricidad” performed by theater seniors Weimy Montero Candelario and Aria Adee.

Next check out “Behind Closed Doors,” a movement rep piece from Missy Burmeister’s Class.

Behind Closed Doors is a piece that explores interrupted routines during this unprecedented time. It begins with familiar routines that then become irrelevant in the isolation of your own room.

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Cosplayer Has Winning Design

KatieAcademy alumni and current faculty member Kathryn Pateric is the third place winner of the “Ultimate Online Cosplay Championship.” Her submission was of an Aes Sedai, a fictitious being from the fantasy novel “The Wheel of Time.” The design was of her own creative interpretation from research and descriptions from the novel.


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Revolting Children

Every year, from February to April, the Academy’s spring musical cast goes into rehearsal. For the 2020 production Matilda, it didn’t seem like anything was going to be different. Then Covid-19 shut the world down and theaters everywhere fell silent.

Yet as the saying goes, the show must go on.


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Sing Me Your Story

Master ClassRenowned singer David Sabella has done Broadway, Carnegie Hall, among many other endeavors. On May 13th and 14th, singers at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Half Day had the privilege to learn directly from him during a vocal masterclass.

In front of individual computer screens, vocalists from grades 9-12 each took turns performing a piece of music for him while he listened from his personal New York vocal studio. “I see all of you joining me from your different bedrooms each uniquely decorated” Sabella said as spoke of the importance of personifying a song. “A really good song is one that can survive outside the show it came from.”

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