Arts & Entertainment

Beyond The Rock students successful at Meijer Great Choices Student Film Festival

June 25, 2015 // 0 Comments

Rockford High School students in the Beyond The Rock video production program participated in the annual Meijer Great Choices Student Film Festival again this year. Students from around the state submitted short, thirty second videos promoting character, healthy lifestyle choices, and diversity. Over four hundred and thirty videos were submitted this year, and five Rockford groups were fortunate enough to place amongst the top ten videos within the six categories offered. Students Dannie Donneth, Paige Barnard, Brendan Burke, Nate Warnock, Haley Nash, Katie Montroy, Megan Dileo, Rachel Coon, Sydney Kleis, and Nicole Jones were all among the top finishers. Partners Nicole and Sydney walked away with a strong third place finish in the category of making healthy choices and received a five hundred dollar gift card reward. The students and their accomplishments were celebrated in a special event at Celebration Cinemas. The students, along with their friends, family, and instructors, were treated with popcorn and pop as the awards were presented and all videos were shown on the big screen. At the end of the day it was another great opportunity for BTR students to use their talents to promote a positive message.

Middle school student illustrates comics of The Rock Cycle

June 25, 2015 // 0 Comments

By Hailey Huffman East Rockford Middle School student, Sophie Sales, recently graduated the sixth grade, along with her classmates in the Earth Keepers magnet. During the school year, Sophie’s teacher, Mrs. Altizer, took a few days to teach the class about the invasive land plants and species in Michigan. The Earth keeper students were then asked to write a research paper with information they found in the library. Aside from her three-page research paper on the invasive land plants and species, Sophie drew a series of three comics, The Morphing Rock: A Superhero Rock, which tells the life tale of a young Sedina the Sediment. Over the course of the three stories, Sophie demonstrates not only her art skills but also how young Sedina the Sediment morphs from one type of rock to the next. Throughout the comics, Sedina (Sediment) transforms to Sedianna (sedimentary rock), to Metamorgan (metamorphic rock), to Magmia (magma), then lastly morphing into Iggy (igneous rock). Mrs. Altizer, who recommended that the series be published, recognized Sophie’s artist skills. Over the summer Sophie says she plans to take swimming lessons, take a vacation with her family and help out with a church fundraiser for Iglesia Apostolic Nueva Life in Wyoming. Enjoy your summer, Sophie and keep up the good work!

Nonstop entertainment planned for “Mid Summer Night’s Dream” a fundraising dinner dance event celebrating Arts Rockford

May 28, 2015 // 0 Comments

Musicians, dancers, artists, actors, photographers and singers are joining together to present “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” This dinner dance fundraising event is being hosted by Arts Rockford. Executive Director, Linda Humbert said, “For the first time, this annual event will be held here in Rockford at the Hydrangea Blu Barn which is a gorgeous historic barn that has been spectacularly renovated and is now being used primarily as a wedding venue.” The theme of “Midsummer Night’s Dream” was selected specifically to observe the summer solstice in an elegantly rustic location filled with music and dance, great food and drink. It will be held on June 17 from 6 to 10 pm. Meijer is providing a Platinum Level Sponsorship and other sponsorships are still available for the event. The evening begins with a welcome hour featuring a live music performance from the Rogue Grass, followed by a short performance from the Rockford Ballet and concluding with the Keith Hudson Trio. During this first hour there will also be a silent auction that will include original artwork by West Michigan artists as well as Plein Air Rockford artists painting on-site in costume, a cash bar and a photo booth with volunteers from the North Kent Camera Club. Dinner is from 7 to 8 pm, and is being catered by Brann’s Distinctive Catering. The dinner hour will showcase performances by a Rockford Community Orchestra String Ensemble followed with the Rogue River Community Theatre Company’s adaptation of an abridged version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” entitled “A Late Spring Evening’s Fleeting Thought”. From 8 to 10 pm, guests will be treated to live dance music performed by Sam’s Swing Band. During the first band break will be another short ballet performance by the Rockford Ballet. During the second band break will be a performance by vocal soloist Allison Petriella, voice instructor at Arts Rockford. This annual event, according to Humbert, is a collaboration of numerous local arts groups. “It really gives us the opportunity to showcase so many talented people in the community with so many different creative abilities from music and photography to dance, theater and the visual arts,” she said. “This event has it all.” Tickets are just $50 each for a full evening of entertainment, great food […]

Rockford Jazz Bands Win Prestigious Awards

March 18, 2015 // 0 Comments

  At the District Jazz Festival held at Caledonia High School on March 12, the RHS Big Band and Combo both received Superior Ratings. Sean Perlmutter, the drum set player, was named the outstanding soloist of the day and received a half scholarship to the premiere jazz workshop in the nation, the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Clinic held in Kentucky.  Sam Corey, Max Rambo and Ethan Dunnum were named outstanding soloists for the day and received some free Jamey Aebersold jazz books.   On Saturday, March 14th, the RHS Jazz Band traveled to Western Michigan University to attend the 35th Annual Western Michigan University Jazz Festival.  This was the first time ever attending the WMU festival. Judged by college professors of music and professional jazz musicians from the West Michigan area, bands attending this festival are well known and established programs.   Rockford put itself on the map as a very promising jazz program.  The band took home five soloist awards: Sean Perlmutter on drums, Brooks Barnes on Bass, Sam Corey on tenor sax, Ethan Dunnum on alto sax, and Max Rambo on piano.  The jazz combo was listed as one of the top four combos of the day, and the Big Band received honorable mention as one of five outstanding bands for the day. The brass section also received an award for excellence for their performance.   The bands will perform next at the State Jazz Festival on March 31st at Cedar Springs High School, followed by the Michigan State University Jazz Spectacular on April 18.   For more information, please contact Cullen McCarthy at   Michael S. Shibler, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools  

Five Rockford instrumental music students were selected to be part of the 400 students chosen for this year’s Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association’s (MSBOA) All-State Bands.

February 19, 2015 // 0 Comments

Five Rockford instrumental music students were selected to be part of the 400 students chosen for this year’s Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association’s (MSBOA) All-State Bands. Over 2,000 students auditioned for a coveted chair in the five instrumental ensembles: Middle School Band, Middle School String Orchestra, High School Band, High School Orchestra and High School Jazz Band.   Each ensemble debuted at 10th Annual Michigan Music Conference held at the Grand Rapids DeVos Center January 22-24, 2015. “The Rockford band directors are extremely proud of these fine young musicians and all of their accomplishments,” according to North Rockford Middle School (NRMS) director Cullen McCarthy speaking on behalf of himself, Rebecca Kilgore-Longtin, East Rockford Middle School (ERMS) band director, and Brian Phillips, director of the high school band. Rockford students have been selected for All-State honors since the inception of the program 10 years ago by the MSBOA. Representing Rockford in the High School Band were clarinetist Leah Cedarquist and French horn player Josh Fagerlin. Honorable mention honors were bestowed to oboist Ilene Gould and French horn players Thomas Staublin and Eden Stargardt. At the Middle School Band concert, ERMS was represented by trombonist John Jones and tubaist Mason VanDorp. Bassoonist Evan Powers represented North Rockford Middle School. Three ERMS students also received honorable mention recognition: clarinetist Allison Werkema, French horn player Haley Yeager; and trombonist Cameron Shope. To be considered for the All-State Bands, each student had to prepare an assigned short musical composition, a series of scales and sight-read a piece of music during their allotted 10 minute recorded audition.   Each audition was assigned an identification number with no reference to the student or school they represented. A panel of adjudicators evaluated each submission and placed each in ranking order based on the ensemble the student auditioned.   From this list, the required number of instruments was selected to fill each section in the five ensembles. Each school’s band members and directors are currently preparing for the upcoming State Solo and Ensemble Festival and District MSBOA band festival.

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