May 2015

End of the School Year

End of the school year

It’s the end of the school year, but around MacLaren, students have been giving some of the best performances and having some of the richest conversations of the entire year. In April, each sixth grade Public Performance class staged a play. Jessica Sanderson’s boys gave a poignant and sobering performance of John Drinkwater’s Abraham Lincoln, and Casey Staton’s boys did a spirited, gripping take on H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine. In front of their parents and the entire student body, the boys delivered their lines confidently and artfully, belying the commonly-held theory that sixth graders are only capable of performing as pint-sized surfer dudes pining for summer vacation.

At Spring Fine Arts Night, the Wasson auditorium was packed with family and friends who had come out to enjoy an evening of music and poetry. Sixth graders recited poems by Lewis Carroll and others. The high school choir and our new barbershop quartet sang beautifully. (Unconfirmed reports suggest that the quartet’s rendition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” may have caused hearts of all ages to flutter.) Under the direction of Catherine Hanson, Lisa Gregory, and Michael Hanson, every orchestra played in sequence, demonstrating the quantum leaps they have made over the past ten months, from Orchestra I’s learning to simply read music to Orchestra VI’s intricate Brandenburg Concerto by J.S. Bach. After tackling Mozart and Holst, all the high school orchestras joined together for a finale of Tchaikovsky’s “Tema russo” from Serenade for Strings. Bravo!

Students again took to the stage in early May. This time it was the seniors’ turn, with a magnificent performance of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Directed by Ben Burtzos, the senior class—along with a few other high school students and one faculty member—took the audience to great depths as they acted out the troubling tale of suspicion and the search for truth that surrounded the Salem witch trials. Several audience members were moved to tears by the last speech in the play, powerfully delivered by Trevor von Boeck in the role of John Proctor.

As we finish this last week of classes, there are still important things being learned and discussed in each classroom: the ninth grade girls dissected fetal pigs this week, our seventh graders have been vivaciously discussing Watership Down by Richard Adams, and the seniors are in deep conversation about the last book in the MacLaren Humane Letters reading list, The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

The faculty and students continue to run the race as we enter the final lap before Honors Night and Graduation. We look back happily on this year as we prepare to close the final chapter, and are reminded how grateful we are for your continuing moral, financial, and volunteered support. We look forward to sharing with you the goings-on around MacLaren when we start back up again in August.

We wish you a restful and intellectually stimulating summer.

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