Gallery: Assembly celebrates the season

The Manchester Essex middle and high schools came together to celebrate the holiday season in an assembly on the last day of school before break.

 

Juniors Sara Rhuda and Chelsea Rose sang several songs. Next, Essex Police Chief Peter Silva and his band of fellow law enforcement officers, Uncharted Watahs, played several songs. For a few of them, eighth grader Kendall Hershey accompanied on drums. The SoundWaves also sang with band.

 

This season the students of both schools brought in over $2800 in toys to donate to Pathways for Children. Additionally, the Rotary Club donated over $1000 in gift cards to students and their families that are in financial need.

 

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A Cappella Night Supports the Fight Against Ebola

On Friday December 12th, there was an a cappella night that help to support the fight against Ebola and Doctors Without Borders. All the donated money went towards dealing with this epidemic and DWB. Several groups from all over Massachusetts performed such as Witch Pitch from Salem High School; the SoundWaves from MERHS; the Nightingales from Metro Boston; the Treblemakers from Georgetown High School, and many more.

 

 

The program contained important information regarding the show. As people walked in they were suggested to donate $20 per person that would go towards supporting Doctors Without Borders fight Ebola. Credit: Phebe Biggar for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
The program contained important information regarding the show. As people walked in they were suggested to donate $20 per person that would go towards supporting Doctors Without Borders fight Ebola. Credit: Phebe Biggar for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
The show began with Dr. Carl A. Soderland, MD/MPH, from Lahey Clinic talking about the Ebola epidemic and Doctors without Borders. One of the facts mentioned was that the Ebola virus originally came from animals. Credit: Phebe Biggar for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
The show began with Dr. Carl A. Soderland, MD/MPH, from Lahey Clinic talking about the Ebola epidemic and Doctors without Borders. One of the facts mentioned was that the Ebola virus originally came from animals. Credit: Phebe Biggar for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
The venue for the event took place at the First Church UCC of Ipswich. The event raised over $2000 that would go all to Doctors Without Borders. Credit: Phebe Biggar for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
The venue for the event took place at the First Church UCC of Ipswich. The event raised over $2000 that would go all to Doctors Without Borders. Photo Courtesy: Donna O’Neill
The SoundWaves were the second group to perform and brought tons of energy during their performance. They sang a selections of several songs including some holiday classics like “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year.” Credit: Phebe Biggar for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
The SoundWaves were the second group to perform and brought tons of energy during their performance. They sang a selections of several songs including some holiday classics like “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year.” Credit: Phebe Biggar for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
The a cappella group from Georgetown high school performed as well and sang several songs like “Walking On Sunshine” and “Tonight We are Young.” There were a variety of a cappella group present two professional groups from Boston, two college groups and four high school groups. Credit: Phebe Biggar for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online.
The a cappella group from Georgetown high school performed as well and sang several songs like “Walking On Sunshine” and “Tonight We are Young.” There were a variety of a cappella group present two professional groups from Boston, two college groups and four high school groups. Credit: Phebe Biggar for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online.

At the end of the concert, all the groups and audience came together to sing ““Ooh Child, things are going to get easier…” The groups practiced this before the concert and were a part of performance that helped benefit a great cause. Credit: Phebe Biggar for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
At the end of the concert, all the groups and audience came together to sing ““Ooh Child, things are going to get easier…” The groups practiced this before the concert and were a part of performance that helped benefit a great cause. Photo Courtesy: Donna O’Neill

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YMCA and MERMS Presents “Legally Blonde Jr. the Musical”

During the weekend of Friday December 12th, the middle school presented “Legally Blonde Jr. the musical.” The students have been working hard since September and were excited to show off their talents. Director Nicole Leotsakos from the North Shore YMCA Theatre has worked with twenty two of the most talented and expressive students to put on an amazing production. This year, the play consisted of a female cast, so the male parts were all played by girls. This stretched the actresses’ limits and got them thinking outside of the box in order to transform into male characters. Leotsakos had the help of Sara Jaffe and Carissa Gerber as assistant directors and managers, as well as sophomore Robert Carter as house manager and a few other students as stage crew.

The story of Legally Blonde follows Elle Woods, a sorority girl from Malibu, in her journey to find true meaning of herself outside of her looks. Her heart takes her to Harvard Law School to win back the guy she loves, but she soon learns that she is a hardworking, independent woman that enjoys helping people through practicing law.

The Cast:

AnaCarpri Burke

Sylvie Oldeman

Aoife Dalton

Courtney Dellicker

Grayson Lockwood

Julia Kaper

Savannah Reilly

Greta Dickson

Lila Whitman

Madeline Lai

Sasa Willems

Lydia Shaw

Emily Johnson

Abby Thomas

Heather Adams

Bonnie Gerhardt

Bradlee Brooks

Anna Whitten

Morgan Phippen

Charlotte Ward

Lilly Coote

Lily Phipps

 

Drums by eighth grader Kendall Hersey

 

 

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UPCOMING EVENTS: Winter Music Performances

The band, chorus, and a Capella group SoundWaves have several upcoming performances.

 

Dec. 5th  –   Essex Holiday Festival – 6:00 PM -Essex Shipyard – SoundWaves

Dec. 7th  –   Manchester Friendship Tree Lighting- 3:30PM – First Parish Church – Band, Chorus and SW

Dec. 12th – A Cappella Concert for Ebola Aid – 7:30 PM –  First Church UCC – Ipswich – SoundWaves

Dec. 13th – Council On Aging Luncheon –  Band and Chorus and/or SoundWaves

Dec. 18th – WINTER CONCERT!  7:30 PM – High School Auditorium  featuring Band, Chorus and SoundWaves

Dec. 22nd –  Beverly Rehabilitation Facility – 3:30 – SoundWaves

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Spaulding Education Fund Hosts A Night of Stars

On Sunday November 23, A Night of Stars was hosted in the auditorium. This show is presented by The Spaulding Education Fund, which has been providing grants to boost student achievement in core subjects for twenty five years. There were two performances that showcased the talent from elementary school to high school students in the community.

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As the audience was filing into the auditorium, a slideshow was playing in order to show what the Spaulding Education Fund has done for the Manchester Essex School District in the past twenty five years. In the science department, Spaulding has given three 3D printers that have opened up new creative possibilities for classes like robotics and industrial design. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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This year, the Master of Ceremonies was sophomore Robert Carter, who introduced each act with interesting facts about them. Carter also performed in both shows with the Soundwaves. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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The Soundwaves performed “That Lonesome Road” and “No Rain” in both shows. Many of the Soundwaves members helped English teacher Liz Edgerton out backstage and some even had an act in one of the shows. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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Sixth graders Maddie Lawler and Sami Turner showed off their gymnastic skills in the second show to the song “Bounce.” Both girls take lessons at Iron Rail Gymnastics Academy in Wenham and have been there for a while. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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Elementary student Luli Bartlett sang “Eleanor Rigby” while playing her guitar. Written by the Beatles, “Eleanor Rigby” was released in 1966 and won a Grammy for best contemporary performance in 1967. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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Eighth graders Emma Lacey and Anna Bonaccorso, with Ava Glass on bongos, sang “Runaway” by Ed Sheeran in the second show. The acts were split up into two shows so that more students could perform. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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Thespina Parianos, Abby Lantz, and Bella Pomeroy sang “Riptide” by Vance Joy along with Thad Fulmer on guitar and Kendall Hersey on drums. This is the first time that this group of eighth graders has performed together and they have been asked to be another fundraising show coming up soon. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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Hersey, the bands drummer, has never been in A Night of Stars before but has been drumming since the age of three and wants to continue for as long as he can. He takes lessons in Essex with James Murphy at Stix Drum Instruction. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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Seventh grade student Jenna Cirella sang “All Too Well” accompanied by chorus director Donna O’Neill on piano. O’Neill also played piano for sixth grader Aoife Dalton in the first show and has been accompanying singers in the performances for many years. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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Catherine Garlitz and Molly Brady, both seventh graders, showcased their tap skills in a duet to “Barbapapa’s Groove.” “Barbapapa’s Groove,” written and performed by the Barbatuques, was released in 2002. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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Garlitz and Brady take dance lessons at Liza’s Studio in Beverly and have been dancing together there. The girls compete in weekend dance competitions all around the country. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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Junior Chelsea Rose sings “Vienna” by Billy Joel, accompanied by junior Sara Rhuda. Rose dedicated her song in honor of her friend Andrew Rennie. Along with singing in the show like she does every year, Rose also participated in the backstage crew with her fellow drama members. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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To close both shows, the Irish step dancing group from North Beverly danced a Treble Reel. A Treble Reel is a traditional dance done in hard shoes to 4/4 time. Every year these dancers showcase their skill in Irish step. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

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Five students accepted to Northeast Senior District Music Festival

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Five students from MERHS  accepted to the 2015 Northeast Senior District Music Festival this year.  Last Saturday, November 15th nine students from band and chorus auditioned for the Northeast Senior Districts.  Representing MERHS from the Band is Alexi Goldsmith-Solomon who will be first chair snare drum player in the Festival Orchestra.   Chorus members Jenny Duff, Tucker Evans, Sara Rhuda and Joshua Ward will be representing MERHS in the Northeast Districts Festival Chorus. 

 Tucker Evans, Alexi Goldsmith-Solomon and Sara Rhuda also received All-State recommendations and will be auditioning for All-States in January.

 

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Callbacks for the MS production of Legally Blonde

On Thursday September 18th, the YMCA hosted their callbacks for the fall musical “Legally Blonde Junior.” Callbacks are very important for the director to narrow down the choices for the lead roles. The performances will be December 12 through the 14th.

 

Director Nicole Leotsakos brings together all twelve middle school students who were called back for the upcoming production of Legally Blonde Jr.  The callbacks lasted two hours and the kids did an assortment of songs from the show as well as a read through. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Director Nicole Leotsakos brings together all twelve middle school students who were called back for the upcoming production of Legally Blonde Jr. The callbacks lasted two hours and the kids did an assortment of songs from the show as well as a read through. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
The actors follow the lead of Leotsakos during the warm ups. The importance of body and face warm ups before rehearsal helps loosen posture and prepare performers for rehearsal, just as a singing warm up would. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
The actors follow the lead of Leotsakos during the warm ups. The importance of body and face warm ups before rehearsal helps loosen posture and prepare performers for rehearsal, just as a singing warm up would. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Since the YMCA is sponsoring this production of Legally Blonde Jr. they have provided each actor with a script. This show is based off of the movie Legally Blonde starring Reese Witherspoon that came out in 2001. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Since the YMCA is sponsoring this production of Legally Blonde Jr. they have provided each actor with a script. This show is based off of the movie Legally Blonde starring Reese Witherspoon that came out in 2001. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Middle school students Lilly Phipps, Aoife Dalton, Julia Kaper, and Sylvie Oldeman participate in the vocal warmups lead by musical director Carissa Gerber. For the warm up the kids did a variety of singing exercises including a siren which coming from the highest note in your head voice to the lowest note in your chest voice. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Middle school students Lilly Phipps, Aoife Dalton, Julia Kaper, and Sylvie Oldeman participate in the vocal warmups lead by musical director Carissa Gerber. For the warm up the kids did a variety of singing exercises including a siren which coming from the highest note in your head voice to the lowest note in your chest voice. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Gerber helps sixth grader Sylvie Oldeman learn the song “So Much Better” before she performs it alone for the director. Each actor had a chance to practice in groups and then by themselves before singing for the chance to play one of the main characters, Elle Woods. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Gerber helps sixth grader Sylvie Oldeman learn the song “So Much Better” before she performs it alone for the director. Each actor had a chance to practice in groups and then by themselves before singing for the chance to play one of the main characters, Elle Woods. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
After completing the first signing portion of the callback, sixth grader Greta Dickson and eight graders Lilly Phipps and Savannah Reilly present the lines they were given for the cold reading. A cold reading is where the director gives the actors a few lines from the show that they have never seen before and have to act like the character they were given. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
After completing the first signing portion of the callback, sixth grader Greta Dickson and eight graders Lilly Phipps and Savannah Reilly present the lines they were given for the cold reading. A cold reading is where the director gives the actors a few lines from the show that they have never seen before and have to act like the character they were given. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

Gerber leads the group in learning the second song “Chip On My Shoulder” which is going to be sung by one of the main male characters. No middle school boys have signed up for the show and there are many boy parts, so Leotsakos asked everyone at the callbacks to try out for a male part.  Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Gerber leads the group in learning the second song “Chip On My Shoulder” which is going to be sung by one of the main male characters. No middle school boys have signed up for the show and there are many boy parts, so Leotsakos asked everyone at the callbacks to try out for a male part. Credit: Kara Hersey for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

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Salve Regina A Cappella Group visits high school

Pitches with attitude, Salve Regina’s female A cappella group, came to visit Manchester Essex Regional High School and performed for music classes. 2012 ME graduate Savannah Repucci is a member of the group and came back to visit her high school.

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Seventh grade music students sit in a circle before the A cappella group enters. The A cappella group was on tour visiting many of the singers’ past high schools. Credit: Olivia Lantz for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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Salve Regina A cappella group members clap at the beginning of their first song. Pitches with Attitude performed for three classes, as well as many faculty members who stopped by to watch the performance. Credit: Olivia Lantz for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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The Salve Regina A cappella leader introduces the group to the chorus class. Each of the members gave their name, school year, and major when introducing themselves. Credit: Olivia Lantz for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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A seventh grade chorus class watches as the A cappella group sings one of their songs. Pitches with Attitude sang six songs for each of their performances. Credit: Olivia Lantz for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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The group leader sets up for the next song by giving the members their notes needed to start the song. The group’s last concert on their tour was at Rockport High School. Credit: Olivia Lantz for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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Pitches with Attitude sing the song “Brave” during their show. When a solo occurs in a song, the members singing separately from the rest of the group will stand in front of the other singers. Credit: Olivia Lantz for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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Pitches with Attitude sing the song “Ironic.” After their concert, the girls held a question and answer session for the audience. Credit: Olivia Lantz for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
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A Manchester Essex Regional High School alumni Savannah Rapucci sings a solo. Rapucci is sophomore at Salve Regina and is a Music Education major. Credit: Olivia Lantz for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

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A Pitches with Attitude member sets up the next song for her solo. The group has toured throughout, Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Credit: Olivia Lantz for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

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