Community Voices: A Message from the Fine Arts Chair
To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.
Courage - that is just what performing arts students have needed this year - courage to step back onto the stage as we have made the return to in-person performances. Courage to find their voice again after many months of Zoom rehearsals! Courage to step out of their comfort zone and share their creative gifts and talents.
In Drama, we began the year with a record number of students involved in Clue. For six weeks, thirty-five students put in hours on and off the stage to present a very polished production. Thank you to all involved and to everyone who came and supported them. We are now in the process of casting for our Winter One Acts. Over 20 students came to auditions this week!! We hope to take the high school play - "Reunion on Gallows Hill" - to the METG High School Drama Festival. The two smaller one-acts will be directed by seniors Daphne Partridge and Katherine Ziska.
After 20 months of Zoom and hybrid rehearsals, our Chamber Ensemble has been rehearsing for the Christmas Gathering and has joined with music students from St. Sebastian's School. The boys will join us for our concert and the Ursuline students will perform at the St. Sebastian's Christmas Concert. It will be a lovely performance and the students are really excited to perform in person.
Choral Group has been busy learning music for the school Masses and prayer services. It has been a bit of a learning curve as some students had not sung in public since the Fall of 2019, or even ever sung in a high school choir!! As the reason you join a choir or another ensemble is for the communal aspect of music-making and joining with others to create a beautiful sound, singing on Zoom was a very lonely experience. The one silver lining from Zoom choral rehearsals was the independence each student gained in her ability to sing her own part as she was not able to lean on a stronger student. As you will hear next week, they have risen to the challenge. My favorite part of last spring was watching their faces when they finally sang in person. Students were still masked, but their eyes shone with joy as they heard the other voices rise in song around them.
Glee Club is open to 7 - 9th grade. It is a small group of students at the moment, but they are dedicated to the art of singing and performing. We are always looking for new members and no audition is necessary (and there may be a song from Hamilton on the spring program!)
The Bearitones, our a cappella group, are also happy to be rehearsing in person again. They have been arranging their own music, listening to the sounds created as they sing together in harmony, and are excited to return to hosting an in-person a cappella jam in the spring.
The Memory Project, one of the art clubs, is off to a great start. The tag line on their website says "creating a kinder world through art." Over 50 students have signed up to do just that. Our club is part of "a youth arts organization that promotes intercultural understanding and kindness between children around the world," by each club member painting a portrait of a young person facing challenges in another part of the world.
The artists and performers at Ursuline are creating such a beautiful world both aurally and visually. It is when we see and hear that which we have not for a while, that we realize how much we missed it. If you see one of our talented students, take the time to thank them for the courage to share their gifts.
Please join us next Wednesday, December 15th at 6 p.m. as we celebrate the sounds of the Christmas season at Ursuline's annual Christmas Gathering. You will also have the opportunity to view some of the art created in our art classes.
Fine Arts Department Chair
Ursuline's Virtual Gala this Sunday, December 12
Remember to register so you can vote!
- $100 VIP Ticket includes Door Prize Drawing entry
- Complimentary viewing tickets are also available
Amazing Talent and Entertainment!
Great Auction Items
Exclusive Ursuline Merchandise
Celebrate with the Ursuline community at Ursuline's Got Talent, our virtual gala event, streaming to you live on Sunday, December 12, 2021. Finalists will be chosen before the event and viewers will vote for the winner from those finalists, one vote per registered device.
Please support our talented students - and register to watch the show!
- When does it start? The show begins at 6:15 p.m. with a pre-show highlighting all of the talent submissions. The live show begins at 6:30 p.m. and will only include the finalists.
- What about the auction? The auction will open for bidding on Saturday morning and will remain open until 8 p.m. on Sunday. You must be registered to bid. We will be sending out an email reminder when the auction is open.
- Why support the gala? Net proceeds from Ursuline's Got Talent will support Ursuline's scholarship program, which provides both need and merit-based financial assistance to our deserving students.
- REGISTER HERE.
Annual Christmas Gathering
Our annual Christmas concert is scheduled for Wednesday, December 15 at 6 p.m. Join us as we celebrate the season of Christmas with prayer and music. We are grateful that we can gather in person again to hear the sounds of the season from our Choral Group, Chamber Ensemble, Glee Club, and Bearitones. The event is free and all are welcome. Masks will be required.
School Store Christmas Shopping
The Online Store's deadline has passed for Christmas delivery, but the On-Campus Store is here with some new merchandise. We are open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. In addition, we will be open after school on Tues., Dec. 14 until 3:30 p.m., as well as before (5-6 p.m.) and after (to 7:30 p.m.) the Christmas Concert on December 15. You are also welcome to Contact Kate Gormley to set up a shopping appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of Ursuline's longest-standing traditions has been its collaboration with Boston's Yawkey Center (a Catholic Charities Center in Dorchester, MA) to help with their holiday Clothe-a-Child program. All homerooms have been assigned a child and students should know the gender and requests for their homeroom child. Please remember that all items must be new and have price tags removed. All gift donations are due on campus by Tuesday, December 14 so that we can wrap the gifts and deliver them to the Yawkey Center on Thursday, December 16. Thank you to the community for your continued generosity to these families in need.
SAT/ACT Prep Classes for Winter
Summit will be offering SAT/ACT Prep classes at UA beginning in January. SAT Prep classes will meet on Tuesday afternoons from January 25 - March 8. ACT Prep classes will meet on Tuesday afternoons from February 15 - March 29. See SAT flyer here and ACT flyer here for details.
Speaker Series Event Available to View
Speaker Series Event with Molly Burhans
Thank you to everyone who joined us for our virtual event with Molly Burhans, Founder and Executive Director of GoodLands , a social enterprise at the forefront of geospatial information policy, standards, and security related to the Catholic Church and affiliated organizations worldwide. Molly is an internationally recognized leader in cartography, social entrepreneurship, conservation, and innovation for faith-based impact-driven property use and management. Molly was profiled in the New Yorker in February 2021. Special thanks to Sara Wheeler '22 for moderating the discussion.
CLICK HERE to watch the program.
Year of Serviam: How do YOU serve?
As part of our 75th anniversary efforts, we are taking the opportunity to recommit to the Ursuline value of Serviam. We are calling this effort the "Year of Serviam," and it is quite simple. We invite all members of our community - students, parents, alumnae, and parents of alumnae - to tell us about the organizations that you support in your daily lives, whether it is a food bank, your local parish or place of worship, or another cause. Our goal is to serve 75 different organizations by May 14, 2022, which will be celebrated as International Serviam Day by Ursuline schools across the country. Please use this brief form to tell us about organizations with whom you currently volunteer, recently volunteered, or plan to volunteer, wherever they may be.
Donations Needed for Housewarming Baskets - New Life Furniture
This Wednesday, December 15, Campus Ministry and student volunteers will be putting together Home Starter Kits for the New Life Furniture Bank that will be provided to families who are transitioning out of homelessness. Please see the provided list of items needed for this service project. Community members can drop off donation items in the Campus Ministry office by Wednesday morning. Thank you for your support!
Senior Retreat registration is open!
Senior Retreat will be held at St. Thecla's in Billerica January 21-23, 2022.
New England Math League Contest
Thank you to all who joined us for the third New England Math League Contest of the year this past Tuesday. Our top finishers were Sana Dhillon '23, Sophia Vernacchio '23, and Priya Raskin '24. Congratulations, and thank you to all the students for their enthusiasm! The next contest is Tuesday, January 11th during Activity period, so please save the date!
Student Auditions for Xaverian Spring Musical
Singing and dance auditions for Xaverian's upcoming musical "Something Rotten" will be held on Monday, December 13 from 4-6:30 p.m. at Xaverian. Rehearsals will be Mondays - Fridays from 4-6 p.m. and the production dates are March 25-27, 2022. See attached for details.
AURO in person!
This week, our Spanish classes were treated to an in-person visit from Auro, a Mexican music artist from the Berklee School of Music! The students love this talented singer and songwriter's songs and music videos. The girls practiced their Spanish asking Auro about the videos she made during the pandemic in her home in Mexico City. She even sang a piece of her hit song "Aventura Espacial" for the students!
International Trip to Japan, April 2023
Ursuline Academy is planning an international trip to Japan for students in April 2023. Current 10th and 11th graders are eligible to enroll. The tour itinerary will include Tokyo, from the Imperial Palace to video game mecca; folk villages and gardens in the Japanese "alps" Kanazawa and Takayama; an overnight in a traditional Japanese inn (Ryoken); Kyoto with its Geisha district; a Tea Ceremony and traditional dancing show; Himeji Castle; and a visit to Hiroshima (atomic bomb site) via bullet train. April is cherry blossom season in Japan. Enroll at: explorica.com and use Tour Center ID: Petti-9568. Contact Mrs. Petti in Room 104 or email email@example.com with questions.
Note: The volleyball team fundraiser profiled in last week's Bear Essentials was truly an all-team effort. Players and families from the varsity, JV, freshman, and junior teams donated items for the raffle and helped cover shifts selling tickets, refreshments etc. Amazing teamwork was at work to "spike out" cancer!
Fitness Center Schedule for Week of December 6, 2021
Monday, December 13:
3 p.m. - Hockey
3:30 p.m. - Hockey
4 p.m. - Track - Throwers
4:30 p.m. - open
Tuesday, December 14:
3 p.m. - Ski
3:30 p.m. - open
Wednesday, December 15:
3 p.m. - Track - Distance
3:30 p.m. - open
4 p.m. - open
4:30 p.m. - Track- Sprinters
Thursday, December 16:
3 p.m. - open
3:30 p.m. - open
4 p.m. - JH Basketball
4:30 p.m. - open
Friday, December 17:
3 p.m. - Track- Throwers
3:30 p.m. - JV Basketball
4 p.m. - open
4:30 p.m. - V Basketball
Ursulines Around the World
This month we feature the Ursuline schools and sisters in England. The Ursulines first arrived in England in 1851 from Belgium, but did not find suitable accommodations. They returned in 1862 to begin their convent in Upton (now Forest Gate, part of London) and a school. Within 42 years (1862-1904), the Ursulines opened 5 schools and several convents. Two of the schools, St. Ursula's Convent School (Greenwich) and Westgate Ursuline College (Westgate) were opened because the Ursuline sisters were fleeing their countries of origin (Germany and France) due to anti-Catholic sentiments. The Ursulines are well respected in England for their schools.
The oldest school, St. Angela's, has put together an excellent history of the early Ursulines in England. In addition to the schools, the Ursuline sisters also participate in local parish ministries and continue to live lives of Serviam, working for the poor and marginalized in their communities.
The Ursuline schools in England are also a part of Ursuline Links UK , a volunteer program that is run by the Ursuline Sisters both in the UK and abroad. Over the years, some projects have traveled to the US as well (New Orleans, Idaho and California). Enjoy learning about our Ursuline sister schools in England!
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