Archive for May, 2012

Concerto Competition Winners Announced

Ryan Zwahlen, Music Chair, announced this afternoon the winners of the Idyllwild Arts Concerto Competition. The winning students are Wei-An “Vian” Hung, cello, Benny Kleinerman, piano and Julian Jenson, piano.

– Wei-An                      Benny                    Julian

Winners of the Concerto Competition

Wei-An performed the first movement of the Shostakovich Cello Concerto, while Benny performed the first movement of the Mozart Piano Concerto K. 482 and Julian played the first movement of Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto, Emperor.

Ryan remarked that nearly twenty music majors competed in the competition. The students learn to play these concertos from memory and work on concertos as part of their regular lessons. These three were chosen because they showed the most technical and musical maturity and proficiency.

The students will perform these pieces next year with the Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra. Ryan said that “performing a concerto at their age is a great educational opportunity which will prepare them for future competitions and performances. Having the chance to actually perform them with an orchestra, instead of a piano reduction, in front of an audience will help them grow as musicians”.

May 30, 2012 at 4:06 pm Leave a comment

Idyllwild Arts Academy Appoints New Dean of Academics

Idyllwild Arts is pleased to announce the appointment of Marianne Kent-Stoll, Dean of Academics.

Marianne Kent-Stoll, newly appointed Dean of Academics for Idyllwild Arts

Marianne Kent-Stoll comes to Idyllwild Arts Academy from the Staten Island Academy in Staten Island, New York, where she has served as an English instructor, Curriculum Developer and Director of Extra Curricular Programs. She brings over 25 years of experience in the field of education where she has worked for other independent high schools, middle schools and K-8 programs. Marianne has a B.A. in English from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a M.A. in English from The Pennsylvania State University. In 2009, she was recognized by Stanford University with an “Excellence in Teaching Award”.

Ms. Kent-Stoll is also the founder and President of a nonprofit, Karimu International Help Foundation. She established the nonprofit in 2008 to promote renovation and expansion of primary and secondary school in the remote rural Tanazanian village of Dareda Kati. In addition to her efforts in education there she has also worked to implement teacher improvement programs, health education, water purification and sustainable farming for the schools.

Marianne begins her new position, as Dean of Academics, at Idyllwild Arts effective July 1, 2012.

May 25, 2012 at 2:27 pm Leave a comment

National Honor Society Inductees – Spring 2012

“Idyllwild Arts Academy is pleased to announce four students as new inductees into the National Honor Society” states faculty advisor & Humanities Chair John Goulding. John said “that all new members of the 2012-2013 school year will be inducted during the Friday All-School meeting on October 19th, 2012.” Those selected for this special honor are:

New Inductees into the National Honor Society

Members of the NHS Faculty Council & New Inductees: Bonnie Carpenter, Karin Obermeier, Deniek Turner, Jeni Kets, Delaney Spangler & John Goulding. Not Pictured: Kimber Pritts & Nitha Viraporn

A five-member Faculty Council, comprised of Creative Writing Chair Kim Henderson, Humanities faculty Karin Obermeier, Associate Dean of the Arts & Theatre faculty Bonnie Carpenter, ESL faculty Jeni Kets and Resource Center faculty Margaret Gray made the selections.

To be eligible for induction in the National Honor Society, students must have met the following criteria:

  • Students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades at Idyllwild Arts are eligible.
  • Cumulative Idyllwild Arts GPA of 3.80 or better.
  • History of leadership experience is required, and can consist of: 1) appointment or election to leadership positions; 2) other positions of responsibility; and 3) and other situations requiring the direction and motivation of others.
  • Record of school or community service is also required – involved in a campus organization for at least a half hour every week,
  • Total hours of community service provided will be 30 per year – school or their own community
  • To evaluate a candidate’s character, the Faculty Council uses two forms of input – school disciplinary records are reviewed and students solicit members of the faculty for input.

The National Honor Society (NHS) is the nation’s premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. More than just an honor roll, NHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character. Idyllwild Arts is part of this elite group of schools that offers this program to outstanding students. “NHS students exemplify the best of what Idyllwild Arts has to offer – achievement, leadership and commitment to community.  These students have proven themselves in the classrooms, studios, IAA community and beyond”, concludes Bonnie Carpenter, faculty council member.

Congratulations to these very deserving students!

May 25, 2012 at 2:13 pm Leave a comment

Isaak Brown: AEL Alum Guest Lecturer

“Listen to your inner voice” was the message that alumni Isaak Brown ’05 shared with Idyllwild Arts Academy’s seniors at Monday’s Senior Seminar. Isaak, recipient of the Richard MacNeal Award awarded to the most outstanding senior at Idyllwild Arts and a 2005 Presidential Scholar in the Arts, returned as part of the AEL Alum Guest Lecture which is coordinated through a grant from the Arts Enterprise Laboratory. Don Put, administrator for the Arts Enterprise Laboratory, stated “ the series provides a platform for IAA alums to discuss the aspects of a ‘real’ life in the arts and how that might inform other parts of a career that might or might not be directly related to a specific art form.”

Don Put, AEL Administrator, introduces guest speaker Isaak Brown ’05 to the Senior Class

Isaak chose to follow a non-traditional route after graduation. He took a year off and joined “City Year” in Seattle, an organization that is part of AmeriCorps. It was during this year that he made the decision to follow his own inner voice and take a path where he began work with youth and violence prevention programs. He’s continued that work and taken time off to study and pursue opportunities as they’ve presented themselves. Currently, Isaak is enrolled in a masters program at the University of California – Berkeley where he’s focusing on religion and counseling. The choices Isaak made in life have created a path that, for him, has lead to fulfillment and a career.

Don Put states the program is designed  “to feature speakers who have taken many different paths since they graduated from IAA; that is, some of them have continued to work in their chosen art form while others have taken less traditional paths that are not necessarily centered on their art, though they incorporate aspects of their arts training into their careers. Our students have been trained to be creative problem solvers and to think outside of the box. When our alums share their individual stories we believe it encourages our current seniors to adopt a broader view of what constitutes a life in the arts and allows them to envision the art of living.”

May 25, 2012 at 11:12 am Leave a comment

Moving Pictures Screenings This Weekend

Last minute work continues on the Moving Pictures Department student films to be screened this weekend at Idyllwild Arts.

One of those films, “Life After Death”, by Armani Rodriguez ‘14, is a film that has required the creation of hundreds of “zombies”. The film received special assistance from L.A.-based special effects company, LookFX, who offered their services to create the detailed “zombie” scenes.

Look FX is a company responsible for special effects work behind blockbusters such as Avatar, The King’s Speech, Precious, the Avengers and others. Derek Bird, a digital supervisor at LookFX worked with Idyllwild Arts students to stage the scenes on a green screen. In one scene, a group of six zombies is replicated into hundreds more by LookFX. All told, LookFX worked pro bono on four different shots for the film.

Angelo DiMarco filming a scene

“We are so fortunate to have access to leading entertainment companies in Hollywood. I don’t know of any other school in the nation where students have the opportunity to work with the masters of the craft they themselves aspire to become”, said Marek Pramuka, the Dean of Admission at Idyllwild Arts.

Isaac Webb, Moving Pictures Chairs, discussed what a great opportunity it was to work with a professional company like LookFX on “Life After Death”. Through a mutual friend, the relationship with LookFX was established and they eagerly engaged with how they could assist with Armani’s zombie flick “Life After Death”.

LookFX also invited the student filmmakers and faculty to their studios where they educated them on the various software and roles that it takes to produce special effects. Isaac said that it was an invaluable education experience for the students and that he couldn’t be more thankful for their generosity. Isaac further said “LookFX truly prioritized Armani’s project and put it into their production schedule. They worked well over 5-6 days to shoot and produce the effects for the film. We can’t thank them enough”. LookFX has expressed an interest in working on future projects with Idyllwild Arts’ Moving Pictures department and we look forward to continuing that relationship.

In addition to “Life After Death”, the Moving Pictures department will be screening two short documentaries by alumni Luke Sherman ’11 and Sean Stromsoe ’09. Theaw documentaries were funded through a grant by the Arts Enterprise Laboratory (AEL). Through the grant, Sean & Luke, along with Idyllwild Arts Moving Pictures faculty Ira Abrams, traveled to Ethiopia with the Tropical Health Alliance to produced several short documentaries.

Another documentary by Katherine Kearns ‘13 entitled “A Family Like Mine” will be screened as well. In this documentary, Katherine explores her family situation of being raised by a gay father and discusses with others their experience of being raised in a gay household. This is a deeply intimate and honest documentary for Katherine and a complete labor of love on her part.

Other narrative films have also been produced as part of the film program. The audience will have an opportunity to see Gabrielle DiMarco’s “12 screenplay for “The Wingman” starring alumni Russell Bomgardner ‘10 & Connor Farrell ’11 and “Love Without End” by Ziquing “Rosie” Xu ‘13  .

The Moving Pictures Screenings will take place at the IAF Theatre on Friday and Saturday, May 25 & 26 at 7:30pm.

May 25, 2012 at 11:03 am Leave a comment

Four Seniors Respond About Their Idyllwild Arts Experience

This week we continue our conversation with four more graduating Idyllwild Arts Seniors and their experience at Idyllwild Arts – what they’ve experienced, lessons they learned and where they’re going next year.

Corbin a Music major, Mauricio a Dance major, Paulina a Musical Theatre Major and Anna a Moving Pictures major took the time to answer our questions. They each have taken full advantage of their time at Idyllwild Arts Academy to learn about their art and themselves while looking towards the future and the lessons to be learned here.

1. Tell me about your experience at IAA? How has it affected you as an artist, dancer, performer or musician?

Corbin: My time at IAA has allowed me to mature in a way that took me off depending on my parents for things, and realizing that if I need to get something done the only person that is going to make that happen is me. This has affected my music by making me go after my own musical education proactively, as opposed to simple waiting for people to feed it to me. This is also the lesson that I have learned here that will stay with me far beyond the short time I spent at Idyllwild Arts.

Mauricio: I think it was amazing and awesome. At the beginning I wasn’t sure if it was the place for me. I’m a post-grad but I didn’t want to take academics I just wanted to dance. This school embraced me.  I didn’t know anyone and I missed my family and friends. It was a huge change. Also, I only had a year of English before coming to Idyllwild so it was really challenging to be immersed in a new language.

Additionally, at Idyllwild Arts there’s a huge connection to the Dance community and opportunities for doing more beyond school. I danced with Inland Pacific Ballet and competed to the semi-finals in the Spotlight Awards. The teachers here are the best and it was a good opportunity to study with Patrick Frantz, who is the founder of the Pittsburg Ballet, I had no idea of the quality of faculty I would study with before coming here. The faculty is equal to those at universities and other dance programs.

Paulina: My experience at IAA has been extremely multifaceted. Moving away from home and coming to a community like this at the age of fourteen was an odd, yet rewarding experience. The people, as well as the curriculum at Idyllwild Arts have been the building blocks to my character. Powerful and supportive mentors (both within the department and outside) have provided me with support, advice, guidance, and tough love that surpass anything I have experienced. These past four years have undoubtedly been the most influential of my life thus far, and I attribute the majority of that to the wonderful people I have had the honor of experiencing, the classes I have had the privilege of participating in, the performances I’ve had the privilege of attending, and the community I have been gifted enough to thrive in. All of my experiences here have influenced my art, and studying under the guidance of Howard Shangraw has made me in to a better performer, person, and artist.

Anna: I came as a semester student in my junior year. It’s been exciting and very different from my old school as I left to pursue a career in science. I want to be a bio medical engineer. At my old school my dean wanted me to drop theater as it was “useless”. Creativity is a huge part of my life and even though I’m not going to pursue the arts in school I need the arts. I had been here once for the Summer Program for “Acting for the Camera” so I knew that Idyllwild Arts would be a good option for me. When I auditioned for the school, I initially thought I would be in the theatre program but I afterward Marek suggested I be part of the Film program and that has worked out perfectly.

Being in the Moving Pictures department is natural. My family is actively involved in the film industry but I had never been a part of it myself. On my first day in the Moving Pictures department I had a camera put in my hands and was given instructed in how to shoot a scene following standard rules. I was instantly encouraged to become involved in the filmmaking process and just do it. It wasn’t about theory as the Moving Pictures program makes you learn by doing and to be engaged.

2. What’s been the most critical lesson that you’ve learned as a student? Is it something in the academics or the arts?

Corbin: This school gives students every opportunity to succeed, but it is also arguably easier to not take it seriously, and allow the experience to instead hinder a student’s potential. I learned I needed to have the drive for this school to work in positive way. If at least a part of everyday isn’t solely dedicated to a student’s art in some way I have found that there is usually a lack of drive or desire, which is only detrimental to a career in art. Therefore, Idyllwild showed me that I had that push to dedicate myself to music, and that using the resources provided by the school, I can advance incredibly fast. This work ethic is something that was given to me by this school, and is a habit I’ll take with me to the Eastman School of Music, as well as wherever else my future leads me.

Mauricio: I’ve learned to work hard and never give up. There’s not a lot of competition here as we’re all friends. Outside though there is a lot of competition and people who are always better. Other students started calling me a “bunhead” as I would get to class early and start working and warming up. I’ve only been dancing ballet for the last two years so I’ve really had to fight to catch up. It’s been important to open my horizons and see what else is out there. Building contacts with teachers inside the dance world makes a huge difference.

Paulina: I would say that the most critical lesson I had to learn was to be independent. Admittedly, I come from a family who wants to give me the world and more; so coming here and not having that forced me to grow up very quickly. This was a valuable and critical lesson that I NEEDED to learn before college, and I am so thankful that I can fully take care of myself.

Anna: It’s a combination. I grew up with a philosophy of doing one thing really well. Here you do everything. You do your physics homework and learn how to make a film. I’ve learned a lot about concentration and time management.  Also, my first big lesson was remembering to eat dinner. Last year I had to make sure that I learned to stop filming before the dining hall closed and go and eat a meal.

3. Where have you been accepted and where are you planning to attend college/university/conservatory or art school? How did Idyllwild Arts education prepare you for the college audition/application process?

Corbin: I was accepted at the Eastman School of Music, Cal State Long Beach, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, and wait listed at the Curtis Institute of Music. Idyllwild helped me by supporting me every step of the way with college counselors who were on call to answer ANY question, and music faculty that pushed me every step of the way to be the best I could be.

Mauricio: I auditioned for the Pittsburg Ballet, Washington Ballet, Ballet Austin and Boston Ballet and I was accepted to Boston’s summer program with a full-scholarship. So I’m going to Boston Ballet this summer and then will have to find a place to live and a job to help pay the rent to stay and study with them afterwards. I did attend the senior seminars but chose not to apply to colleges because I really want to dance and be in a ballet program.

Paulina: The theatre faculty at Idyllwild Arts prepared me (maybe even a little too much) for Chicago Unified Auditions. First semester, we met with Howard once a week to review and get critique on audition monologues. We also met with Bonnie Carpenter once a week to work on scheduling, and audition etiquette. I honestly don’t know if I would have been able to get it together as well as I did without their help.

I was accepted to Point Park University, University of Hartford (Hartt), Columbia College Chicago, Pace University, Cornish College, Birmingham School of Acting (UK), and Boston Conservatory. I will be attending Boston Conservatory (my first choice since freshman year) for the fall of 2012. I will be a student in their BFA Musical Theatre program.

Anna: The college counseling process was really helpful. I had a weird transcript since I switched schools mid-year in my junior year. Fortunately, I have great SAT scores and have tested well. I worked closely with Erin Latimer, my college counselor and she helped me gage what colleges were realistic for me to apply too.

I was accepted to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. Through my college essay I was able to demonstrate my leadership skills. Erin was very helpful in helping me craft my essay. I talked about being sick and how I overcame that and how I learned that I wanted to help other people who were unwell. I demonstrated that I knew what I wanted to do. Also, I’ve been an active volunteer and worked in a retirement home where I played the harp and taught residents to play mahjong.

Also, even though I’ll be working towards a career in bio medical science I still plan on making films. It’s going to continue to be a part of my life. There’s no reason why I can’t continue to work on screenplays and continue to pursue my need to be involved in the arts.

May 25, 2012 at 10:33 am Leave a comment

2012-13 Academy Prefects Selected

It is our pleasure to introduce the Prefects for the 2012/2013 school year.

Prefects have been identified as leaders. Their main job responsibility is to be a role model in the dorm including observance of school rules; effective communication; honesty; healthy sleep habits and self care; class attendance; room cleanliness and hygiene; stress management; conflict resolution; work ethic; and modeling an open, caring and inclusive attitude toward all members of the IAA community.

Idyllwild Arts Academy announced those students who will serve as prefects for the 2012-13 academic year.

May 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm Leave a comment

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