Glendale Arts Celebrates New HWDSB Program of the Arts With FAME: The Musical!
By Ms. A. Walker
What better way to mark the first year of the newest Arts initiative of HWDSB than with a musical that celebrates the talents, struggles and ambitions of a group of students in the celebrated and historic NYC High School of Performing Arts?
From May 29 to June 2, Glendale Secondary School presented their most ambitious project to date, FAME: The Musical. The intensive program is set up as a two-credit bundle in the morning, integrating learning in all areas of the Arts, and bringing together a group of 80+ students from HWDSB Audition-Based Program of the Arts, Glendale’s High Skills Major in Performing Arts, and Glendale Arts program.
Under the direction of a team of six teacher-specialists, the student-centred production presented the Broadway show, unabridged, with students leading the way in all areas of the production, including: the Pit Band playing the professional score, lighting and sound on professional grade boards, construction of an ambitious full-stage set, scenic design of a realistic aging 1980s urban school, properties, costumes for a cast of 50, make-up and hair, front of house and programme, and stage management!
The show featured exciting young talent on stage and behind the scenes. FAME showcased a high calibre of dance in many forms, including ballet, contemporary, salsa, and acro. The leads and ensemble sang the original songbook, often in four-part harmony. The sound team managed 26 wireless microphones on stage, plus two standing mics in the wings and nine more amplified instruments in the pit, with over 200 cues. Lighting operators handled over 250 cues as well. Costumes managed over 500 costume pieces.
The learning that took place was complex and industry-based, resulting in a truly unique and rich experience for these students. Although over half of the class is currently in Grade 9, in their first year of HWDSB ABPA, they have taken a giant leap forward in their education in real-world Arts learning!
This exciting show leaves its audiences with only one question: what show will Glendale feature to top this feat next year?