Highlights of the 2012 UCSCA Program
We continued to expand the recruitment initiatives for our 2012 program to include visits to all secondary schools in Cecil County, as well as selected schools in Harford County. Dr. Keith Wharton also included Kent County High School and the Eastern Shore Band Directors in our recruitment initiative. Brochures were sent to fine arts supervisors and counselor coordinators in all 24 jurisdictions of Maryland.
It was necessary for us to replace three teachers and three counselors for this year’s program. We were able to hire six exceptional staff members who contributed significantly to this year’s program. The new staff was able to participate in the interviews/auditions on April 14, a half-day session for counselors on June 23, and a half day session for all staff on July 6.
Due to the current economy, there were quite a large number of financial assistance requests. We were able to provide scholarships to all students who requested assistance. Mrs. Beth Cronin, Principal at Elkton Middle, and an anonymous contributor from Havre de Grace Middle School provided assistance for requests that came from their respective schools. Budgetary support for the program came from Cecil County Public Schools, in the amount of $16,000. Harford County Public Schools provided $5,000.
We collaborated with Young Audiences to provide our guest artists Tony Tsendeas, Dwame Opare, Kevin Martin, Max Bent, and Matthew Olwell. Tony Tsendeas presented his tremendous interpretation of “Poe Live,” which included “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Black Cat,” and “The Raven.” Kwame and Max led their ensemble G.R.O.W. (Great Recycled Orchestra Workshop) through a variety of compositions utilizing steel drums and recycled instruments to create a full orchestra sound. Students participated in both the musical performance and African Boot Dancing that Kwame taught them. Each evening, students participated in performances, social events, and enrichment activities. They were very well received and beautifully facilitated by the RA staff.
The Casey Santana Butler Memorial Award and Scholarship was presented for the second year to the most outstanding UCSCA senior student. The recipient for 2012 was Carrie Shannon, a senior theatre student at Governor Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick County. The Butler family presented the award at the final concert on Saturday, July 14.
Our theme for the 2012 program was “Capacity Synthesizing Ingenuity.” Students were able to develop their individual capacities in each of the artistic areas, synthesizing with colleagues in other arts disciplines to demonstrate their ingenuity to create original works of art. This practice was utilized in both the discipline focus and creativity classes.
Our final programs were very well received and gratifying for students, alumni, and parents.
Instructional Discipline Reports
Chorus Summary – Mr. Jeffrey Winfield, Teacher
The music literacy of the choral music students was challenged through the use of repertoire from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Classical periods of history. Students were quick to learn and fine tune the appropriate stylistic features necessary for a more authentic performance and representation of the musical periods. While all students did not arrive with the same set of vocal tools, they were able to work together to produce a mature, refined tone that was truly impressive to hear! They wrapped up their travel through the ages with a Pop/Rock tune that had another set of challenges through which the students were able to soar—letting go of their inhibitions—and having fun while singing with a healthy, musical tone. The Grand Finale to this amazing week was a testament to their passion for the arts. The emotional maturity of the students peaked as they displayed levels of musical expression that spoke highly to their understanding of the global themes in the text by Langston Hughes.
Dance Summary - Mrs. Danielle Strange, Teacher
The curriculum for the 2012 UCSCA summer program in dance was focused on challenging the students with rigorous technique, as well as developing quality of movement in their dancing.
Each morning, the students participated in a ballet technique class. During this class, the students worked on proper body alignment, strengthening, and elongating the ballet lines. They spent each afternoon in a modern technique class studying the different styles of many modern dancers, such as Horton, Graham, and Limon. Added to their daily study of technique, the students were given choreography training, injury prevention, and mock audition evaluations. The dancers were challenged each day to push their bodies to success and to become a better overall dancer.
The final performance was the culminating event to an outstanding week. This year, several of the dance students were chosen by their peers to perform solo choreography that they had developed during the week. Three complete ensemble pieces were performed during the main performance. “Brighter,” a contemporary modern jazz piece that showed the softer side of life and dance, was our first selection. This was followed by an emotional piece entitled “I Was Here.” This dance was dedicated to a dear friend and showed the emotion of losing that friend. The last piece was “Blueprint,” an intense strong modern dance that was full of strong percussive movement.
Each student throughout the week grew as a dancer and a performer. They each made an impact on the UCSCA dance program and the success for its future years.
Digital Arts Summary – Mr. Shane Brill, Teacher
The 2012 UCSCA Digital Arts program established and strengthened student aptitudes with a variety of multimedia tools and explored their roles as artists collaborating to define conscientious expressions of the world.
The week began with a session on DSLR portraiture and corresponding Photoshop tools for professional image adjustments. The Digital Arts students built upon the foundational graphic tools with an exploration of layer composites and filters to create art that they embedded in a functional webpage. In their first exposure to Dreamweaver, the class learned the concepts of CSS scripting to manipulate the position and formatting of typographic web objects. They continued with a brief introduction to vector art illustration and animation in Flash to acquaint them with the concept of time in establishing a graphic narrative. Combining their design sensibilities with inquisitiveness, the students interviewed one another and developed interpretative portraits of each other in Photoshop. After working in pairs, they formed two larger groups for a crash course in filmmaking using Final Cut Pro, which featured an accelerated production schedule to plan, film, and edit a one-minute short. For a video finale, the class gathered as a cohesive group to produce a short film that would use powerful images to inspire audiences to think critically about the suppression of creative freedom in a culture that values industry over relationships. The week concluded with an intensive study of Flash animation and interactive applications of design.
Literary Arts Summary – Mr. Simon Drew, Teacher
This week’s Literary Art program was marked by many new lessons and new ideas to be tried in this always productive testing ground. Using several sets of blueprints and elevations donated by local architects, we explored the metaphor of the process of writing as a floor plan and, more importantly, the elements of fiction and how they correlate to the locations and functions of the areas of a house. Carrying the domestic theme ahead, we also used the kitchen and a cracked mug or bowl as metaphors for relationships and personal decisions. Along with workshops on dialogue, dialogue tags, and concise writing, we were lucky enough to have an extensive workshop with the Literary House director and nationally-acclaimed poet Jehanne Dubrow, who taught the group the fine points of using language in poetry intentionally as well as how to detach oneself from an intensely personal subject in order to write about it well.
Orchestra Summary – Dr. Keith Wharton, Teacher
The orchestra consisted of 46 students and one teaching assistant. Our repertoire included “Dance Infernal,” “Lord of the Dance,” “Aboriginal Rituals,” “Procession of the Sardar,” and “To Dream a World.” The students in the orchestra rehearsed for five and a half hours per day in three distinct facets of our program, which included the large ensemble music, small ensembles, and creativity groups. The small ensembles performed on Saturday prior to the main gala performance. The students also worked in creative groups designed to complete a multi-disciplinary task by the end of the week. This year’s task was to compose and record a 60-second radio commercial. This project also required the assistance of the literary arts students and drama students. At the conclusion of the week, all of the seven assigned commercials were completed and burned to CD. Each student in the orchestra and drama groups received a CD to take with them upon leaving UCSCA.
Theatre Summary – Mrs. Leigh Catterton, Teacher
Students studied the acting theory and exercises of Stella Adler through student Holland Taylor. Students studied articulation through a variety of exercises. They read, analyzed, and synthesized two literary works focusing on the genre of surrealism, Luigi Pirandello’s “Six Characters in Search of an Author” and Harold Pinter’s one-act “The Room.”
Students participated in three different acting practice scenes.
Students appeared in one-act plays at the end of the term. They performed “Prop Box,” a performance piece written by the teacher for the final UCSCA showcase. Students received roughly 40 hours of instruction in the eight-day program.
Visual Arts Summary – Dr. Camellia Blackwell, Art Teacher
I am pleased that many parents, faculty, and visitors had the opportunity to view and enjoy the UCSCA Visual Arts Exhibition in the Kohl Gallery Lobby of Gibson Hall at Washington College. The students, along with my teaching assistant Hannah Mulligan and I, installed the exhibition the evening before the final performance. It was magnificent to see the students enthusiastically involved in getting the art works up on the walls straight and aligned properly. Everyone was pleased and proud of the wonderful works of art that were produced in the one-week intensive study program in the Visual Arts at Washington College.
At the beginning of the class, the returning students said they expected to do at least three projects over the course of the week as they had done in previous years. I said that I would be challenging them with at least six different projects (2-dimensional and 3-dimensional). The students were excited about all of the projects and made great efforts to complete each and every one of the assignments to the best of their abilities after the lessons were presented.
Four of the lessons were based on landscape graphite drawings and watercolor paintings depicting one-point perspective, emphasizing the foreground, middle ground, and background. I gave an overview, and we discussed 3-point perspective, and atmospheric, aerial, and linear perspective. There were two different perspective exercise assignments, one finished graphite perspective landscape drawing referencing European and American artist’s landscapes, and there was a watercolor painting of a landscape utilizing various watercolor techniques.
The 3-dimensional assignment consisted of a fully executed color design for an Oaxacan Mexican Folk Art sculpture. The sculpture was made with wire and Paper Mâché and painted with colorful patterns in the style of the Mexican Oaxaca sculptures using acrylic paints.
The 7th assignment was the Artist’s Trading Cards project, which consisted of small 2” x 3.5” designs on mat boards made by the students in their time between projects. Students adhered to the Principles of Design and the Elements of Art in creating these unique, colorful designs using mixed media to include pen & ink, graphite pencil, markers, colored pencils, watercolors, and acrylic paints.
In the end, they all surprised themselves by producing seven new works of art, learning new techniques in drawing perspective, watercoloring compositions emphasizing perspective, designing Oaxaca Sculptures, lettering signs for the exhibition, and installing the art show.
It was indeed a pleasure teaching this fantastic group of energetic, enthusiastic, and talented students.
Residential Life Summary – Mr. Conor Mulligan, Residential Life Director
The 2012 week of UCSCA was another great week at Washington College in Chestertown Maryland. This year, we had three new counselors, Caroline Martin (Literary Arts), Hannah Mulligan (Visual/Digital Arts), and Dann Combs (Dance) join our wonderful team. With the new additions came a new outlook on the week’s programs. Some exciting activities planned by our counselors included an animation film festival, carnival night, pillowcase scavenger hunt, the highly-anticipated talent show, as well as our themed dance, which was a masquerade.
This year’s theme, “Capacity Synthesizing Ingenuity” was touched on around every corner as the counselors lead the campers through creativity projects, as well as assisting the teaching staff in each of their respected disciplines. The week came to a close with a wonderful presentation of the students’ work throughout the week, as well as the Annual Casey Santana Butler Scholarship Award, which was presented to Caroline Shannon, a theatre student who has shown growth within and dedication to the program over the years. The week closed with a final song performed by the entire camp.