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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The High School Chorus will be visiting Boston’s Symphony Hall on Thursday, November 20th to have a pre-rehearsal talk with cellist, Yo Yo Ma. Following the talk students will watch an open rehearsal with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and Yo Yo Ma.
The Manchester Essex SoundWaves will be performing with other local choral groups at a benefit for Ebola Aid and Doctors without Borders on December 12 at 7:30 pm. The event will be held at the First Church UCC of Ipswich, located at 1 Meetinghouse Green on North Main Street. The suggested donation is $20 per person.
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.
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.