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A Lively Performing Arts Season

March 3, 2022 — Bravo to the many students who showcased their hard work and talents on stage and behind the scenes during a lively winter season for performing arts at NMH. 

Dance Concert: Alice

“An amazing experience” is how 9th-grader Isabelle described performing in Alice, the winter dance concert inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. More than 60 students worked together to produce four performances on campus Feb 24–26. NMH Dance Program Director Gretel Schatz said, “Students met the challenges of this very big undertaking with curiosity and intention. You don’t always get four standing ovations in a row, so when it happens, it’s super exciting.” It was Isabelle’s first NMH dance performance and she played four roles, which was “definitely harder than I expected but a good challenge.” And one that she recommends. “Even if you’ve never danced before, the next time something like Alice comes up, go for it,” she said. Students in the dance companies and winter dance cocurricular classes performed ballet, tap, jazz, modern and more, while the student costume crew and technical theater groups focused their creative energy to support the concert. A course in costuming is new to NMH this year. While the students’ work in the class supports shows like Alice, the class also crafts creations and hones skills in sewing, jewelry-making, and millinery (hat making!). And a chainmail artist recently taught students how to make costume armor. See photos of the performances and take a peek behind the scenes, and see what the costume class has been up to.

Choral Performances

More than 70 NMH singers took the stage on Feb. 27 to showcase original choral pieces commissioned by NMH by performing arts teacher and accompanist Craig Sandford and choral conductor Ellen Gilson Voth of Connecticut, with whom NMH performed several years ago, as well as other composers. “Celebrating Living Composers” featured the Concert Choir, the NMH Singers, the Select Women’s Ensemble, and A cappella groups Northfield Mount Harmony and the Nellies. Sheila Heffernon, director of music and choral programs at NMH, said, “We wanted to present a concert of new works to expose our students to the concept that supporting living composers is essential to keep the art alive.” See photos of the concert. And earlier last month, the Select Women’s Ensemble and the NMH Singers presented a Cabaret featuring a series of duets and trios of Broadway show tunes. 

LifePath Benefit Show

NMH students helped raise more than $900 for a local social service agency that serves older adults, individuals with disabilities, and caregivers through the 18th Annual LifePath Benefit Concert performed on Feb. 20 by the NMH Jazz Ensemble, Concert Band, and Orchestra. According to Carol Foote, LifePath’s outreach and development director, generous donors who gave during the concert will help support services such as home delivered meals, in-home support, health insurance counseling, behavioral health support, and much more. Foote said, “Watching the students play and hearing the beautiful sound — it’s a treat for the senses. There is so much talent. Even these last two years, when the concert has been virtual, they made sure ‘the show went on’ for us. The students have done a wonderful thing! We appreciated that so much.” See photos — and a few videos — of the concert.