Performing Arts and Music at The Academy of St. Therese
All students at the Academy have the opportunity to learn about and express themselves and their faith through music and the performing arts. From Pre-K 3 to Eighth Grade, every student in the school has weekly music classes and participates in at least two live musical productions annually. In the 2015-2016 school year the entire school sang and recorded, Sua Santita , an original song written by our Music/Performing Arts teacher, Mrs. Minetti in honor of Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S.A. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7WNqTIu7LY
Our "Superior" Choir did it again! They mangaged to earn the top rating of "Superior" for the second year in a row at the annual Archdiocesan-wide iSing Choir Festival. The choir performed An Armed Forces Medley, One Moment In Time and Christ Be Our Light and were especially complimented on their musicality, tone and expression.
The Academy Choir ( St . Th erese Ac ademy R ising S tars) leads the school in song at monthly masses and daily Morning Prayer. The Choir is featured in two school performances a year along with the school band. They perform at most special events at the Academy including our very special annual Veteran’s Day ceremonies. This year, the choir had the unique opportunity to sing America Rising , a song written by Mrs. Minetti, at Armed Forces Day at S.M.A. Fathers Missionary as well as the Cresskill Memorial Day ceremonies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN6ZsayU6I0 The choir also visits the retired sisters at the Franciscan Sisters Convent and patients at the Care One Facility in Cresskill every year for Christmas and Valentine’s Day. The students perform for them and bring them gifts and cards made by other students in the school. It is a beautiful experience for all involved.
This year was no exception and, in spite of the rain, the students and parents turned out in great numbers and really made us proud! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32OfJKjkxvI
Each year our music curriculum and performances are based on a different theme that carries through the year. Themes from the past have included The Sound of Music, Rise Up And Sing, Music Tells A Story, 100 years of music and dance, History through Song, Feel The Rhythm of Life, God Rocks and several others.
This year's theme is “It’s About Time” and focused on different rhythms, time signatures, musical styles and dances through the past 6 decades.
Christmas And Spring Productions
Our Christmas Musical, The Present was a take on the Charles Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol and featured unforgettable performances from our AST students at all levels.
Our Spring Musical, Rock Around The Clock took us back to the music, news and dances of the first decade of our school's history; 1957-1967. The gym was definitely rocking on May 24th!
Students of all ages are also introduced to basic aspects of music theory as it applies to piano and guitar. They are exposed to several different styles of music that they analyze, discuss and learn to appreciate. Older students have had the opportunity to create their own music with Garage Band on ipads provided by our Technology department.
Students are always encouraged to share their talents with their classmates, their school and their community. There is a talent show during Catholic Schools Week that is always well attended and has a very high level of student participation.
STAR stands for St. Therese Artists in Residence.
Under the STAR program, talented members of our own community share their talents and time with our students. Students can learn valuable lessons from working professionals which could include performances, workshops and working right along side those professionals for an unforgettable experience.
On October 19th, professional actor Jon Koons presented his one man version of "A Christmas Carol" to the students of The Academy. The students truly enjoyed the performance and were very engaged in a question and answer session that followed. You can catch a glimpse of Mr. Koons' performance at the link below.
In the past, students have benefited from this relationship by being treated to a performance of Peter and The Wolf performed by esteemed members of t he New York Philharmonic Orchestra, The New York City Ballet Orchestra and The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra as well as dancing provided by area professionals and students from Dance Dimensions dance studio.
Students of all ages are also introduced to basic aspects of music theory as it applies to piano, guitar and ukulelee. They are exposed to several different styles of music that they analyze, discuss and learn to appreciate. Some older students have had the opportunity to create their own music with Garage Band on ipads provided by our Technology department.
Every Spring students from 2-8 th grade are given the opportunity to participate in a one week Musical Theater intensive. Students are lead by Mrs. Minetti and Mrs. Sharla Toups, who have been assisted, at times by professional actor and AST parent, Marty Grabstein. Students have four days to learn and rehearse an entire musical that is performed for the entire student body and invited parents on the fifth day. Past Theater Week performances have included; Alice In Wonderland, Who Built America and Dreaming In Color.
This year's Theater Week Spectacular was Oz with a Twist and was extremely successful!
Stay tuned to hear about more exciting events that will be happening at The Academy!!
S hariLynn Pitifer-Minetti is the music/performing arts teacher here at The Academy of St Therese. She has a BFA in Theater from Ithaca College and a Masters in Education from St. Peter’s University. She has continued her education in theater, music and education at various studios and schools in New York City. She is a professional singer-songwriter who continues to perform, write and record professionally while teaching. She has taught in NYC public schools as an artist in residence as well as several performing arts schools in the NYC and Northern NJ area. She currently teaches Music and Performing Arts at St. Joseph's Academy in Bogotá as well as The Academy of St. Therese, teaches Musical Theater at Dance Art Creative Center in Teaneck and performs weekly with her band, Panorama Music. She lead the St. Therese Folk Group at St. Therese Church for 11 years and is now at the helm of the weekly Children’s Liturgy of The Word program and director of the music for the monthly Special Needs ministry.