Theatre is offered at the curricular level beginning in 5th grade and through Parish EXTEND for students as young as 4 years old. In addition, each academic year, PARISHarts holds open auditions for Middle and Upper School Musicals, and a wide variety of plays.
- TueApr25 Parish Arts Showcase 6:00 PM to 8:30 PMMidway Campus- Great Hall and Kleinert Commons
The Parish Rosettes Drill Team is just one example of the extracurricular arts programs offered at Parish. These girls support Panther Athletics as well as put on a full length dance show in the Winter.
Dance at Parish begins as young as 18 months and permeates all the way through 12th grade. It is offered both as a curricular and extracurricular option as well as in the summer and afterschool ParishEXTEND program. At Parish, we believe the skills and knowledge learned in dance help students develop meaningful concepts of self, human relationships and their physical environments.
With over 100 students in the Middle School Band program, PARISHarts continues to enhance the educational experience of our students through music.
The Rosettes Winter Show just wrapped in March, but Parish Episcopal School’s award winning drill team and faithful volunteers are already planning next year’s showcase.
“We start creating themes and ideas for the show as early as a year in advance,” said Dru Stine, Drill Team director. “Once we pick a theme, then we are able to start designing dances, posters, shirts and everything else. The students start learning dances and performance pieces for the show as early as August.”
There are many moving parts to the annual show and this year’s March 3 showcase at the McFarlin Theater at SMU was no different. There were 14 various acts, nearly 130 Middle and Upper School performers and 45 PreK – 6th grade mini clinic dancers in the show titled “Boots, Books & Belts: The Rosettes’ Story.” (Photo Gallery by Wiley Williams)
“We had around 40 numbers in the show,” noted Stine. “These numbers include every genre of dance we teach at Parish, plus choir, musical theatre, acting, improv, jazz band and drumline.”
While the performers make everything look effortless, there is an incredible amount of physical and emotional work that goes on behind the scenes. The Rosettes practice at six in the morning, every day, for seven months. For this year’s performance, the drill team had 10 group numbers and five solos that they perfected during those months of preparation. The long hours require the dancers to make many personal sacrifices.
“On top of that, they must be in good academic standing and maintain a positive and respectful attitude,” added Stine. “Needless to say, these are some very talented and well organized students!”
“A big part of Drill team is structure and punctuality,” said Audrey Legate ’17, who has been a Rosette for the past four years and holds the role of sergeant on this year’s team. “Getting up early and practicing not only enables us to do more afternoon activities, but it helps us become responsible for our own schedule. I find that when I have early morning practice I am more awake and alert during the school day.”
The drill team and Winter Show also receive tremendous support from Parish faculty, staff and parents. The Arts People (TAP) lends volunteer and financial support. TAP underwrites the entire show, allowing the performances to be held in venues that are large enough to accommodate the show, and that match the exceptional quality and popularity of the show. Rosette parents also make special sacrifices, driving the drill team members to early morning practices, providing food and helping with programs, t-shirts, decorations and much more.
“I wish I could list everything that every one of them has done but it would take up the entire page!” exclaimed Stine.
The Winter Show was bittersweet for most seniors. It was their shining moment and also their last time performing as a Rosette. For some, it was the last time they would dance on a stage before a crowd.
“It wasn't until the senior dance, right before Kick, when I realized that this was it,” remarked Legate. “It was going to be the last time I would ever dance with some of these girls and I just started bawling when the curtain started rising.”
“It is a wonderful and unique way to close this chapter of their lives,” said Stine. “Most of them cry (multiple times) throughout the show. They are feeling so proud of what they have accomplished, sad that it is coming to an end, happy to finally show off all they have worked for over the years and relief that the work is done and they can just enjoy dancing.”
As the graduating dancers gracefully move on to their next journey, they leave with a lasting bond, a legacy and some suggestions for future Rosettes.
“My advice is to work, work and work,” noted Legate. “Work on becoming the student, dancer, friend and person you want to be in the future. Rosettes has taught me to be a better leader, dancer, and lady, all of which I am proud. Without this organization I wouldn't be the person I am today.”
In a given year, PARISHarts produces more than 70 student performances!
Through the Independent Study Program students are given opportunities to further their knowledge and experiences in a particular discipline. The teacher in the discipline develops a curriculum for the study personalized to the passions of that particular student.