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Arts Roundup XIV
Sara Courtney

What’s new, and what’s coming up, in the Arts.


Before the break:


  • Lower School Performing Arts Teacher Josh Schnetzer had a lively visit with the Balladeers to choreograph one of their pieces for their upcoming April assembly.


  • Middle School Trimester 2 had their trimester sharing on Thursday, March 7. The Middle School Strings, Jazz Band, and Choruses all performed in the lower commons.


  • The Jazz Ensemble performed a mini concert for the Upper School in the auditorium during community time on Friday, March 8.


  • Members of the String Orchestra performed at Christ Church in Short Hills for a concert series on Friday, March 8.



  • And Lower School Visual Arts Teacher Lindsay Baydin shares that during Black History Month the Kindergarten examined the art of Alma Woodsey Thomas, while the Second Grade studied a variety of black portrait and collage artists, including Romare Bearden, Faith Ringold, Bisa Butler, Amy Sherald, and Kehinde Wiley. Second graders also enjoyed Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s collaged illustrations of characters in her books Just Like Me and Becoming Vanessa, as well as reading her poem I Am A Canvas.


  • And students in Upper School Visual Arts Teacher Michael Taylor’s Filmmaking course created dynamic short films recently and have been watching and giving feedback to each other. According to Mr. Taylor, the students worked in small groups and “created drafts, storyboards, and wrote dialogue during a multiweek project culminating in both individual and group edits of their ideas. From characters being drawn into video games to characters battling with AI, each project was a unique approach to creatively problem solving their first collaborative film project.”


  • Alex Terpstra ’26 worked with Will Francis '25, Matan Zelkowicz '26, and Siena Kotlewski '25 on their short film, Retro Bowl. Check out the film’s unexpected synopsis:
    • Our main character, played by Will, is an avid player of the football video game "Retro Bowl". After getting caught playing in class by his teacher, Matan, Will flees to the treehouse behind the school. He plays Retro Bowl into the night, and eventually falls asleep in the treehouse. Will dreams that he is inside the game "Retro Bowl", and he has to win the championship football game with his team, the Philadelphia Eagles. With the help of his offensive coordinator played by myself, and his defensive coordinator played by Siena, Will wins the championship. After Will wins, he wakes up back in the real world, but he has the championship ring on his finger that he was awarded after winning the game. This leaves Will to question whether or not it was all really a dream.


  • When it comes to why the experience was so rewarding, Alex explains that “seeing the final product that my team and I had put so many hours into was definitely the most rewarding part,” he says. “The most challenging part of creating the film was shooting the footage. The smallest error, like too much background noise, could mean that we would have to reshoot an entire shot. It was also hard to prevent continuity mistakes, for example, it was difficult to make sure that everyone in our group was wearing the same clothes in all the shots because we filmed them over multiple days. Another challenge for our group was compromising between our different artistic visions for the film. Ultimately, we were able to compromise in such a way that our film contained elements of each of our ideas. This kind of group work will help prepare us for our futures, when most everything of significance will be done in teams.”


  • Still below from the short film, Retro Bowl:



Coming up:


  • In Dramatic Arts, Pingry's senior play production class presents Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling on Thursday April 4 at 7:00pm and Friday and Saturday, April 5-6 at 7:30pm in the Attic Theater. Steel Magnolias is a comedy-drama centered around the bond between six women in a small town in the 1980s. This Senior Play Production performance is a culmination of their four-year development as performing artists. This production showcases the skills learned in Drama classes I, II, III, and IV, and is a collaboration between graduating seniors. Admission is free, but space is limited; please reserve your seats at


  • And the Middle School Spring Production of Disney's Moana premieres May 16th-18th in the Macrae Theatre, Basking Ridge. Pingry's Middle Schoolers bring the adventures of Moana and her village of Motunui to life onstage featuring all the beloved songs written by Tony®, GRAMMY, Emmy, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda. With empowering messages of bravery and selflessness, Moana is sure to bring out the hero within each of us. Tickets will be on sale soon!


  • The Balladeers are preparing for a busy week coming up in mid April when they will be attending and participating in a New Jersey youth chorus workshop and concert on Saturday, April 13, followed by a performance at the intergenerational prom on Tuesday, April 16, and finally, the highly anticipated Balladeers annual assembly in the lower commons on Wednesday, April 17.


  • For the intergenerational prom, the Balladeers and Buttondowns will be performing a few songs, each for the invited guests, and then the Jazz Ensemble will be following up with an evening of tunes.


  • The Balladeers and Buttondowns will be competing as the Pingry Glee Club at the “music in the parks” festival at Hersheypark in the mixed choir category on Saturday, April 27.  


  • The upper school music ensembles are preparing for the Spring Concert, which has a theme of 50s and 60s music.