Creative Ventures (Summer 2017)

Art Festivals

Sturgis  Arts Festivals celebrate student work in the visual and performing arts and feature: a visual arts exhibit, music performances including Chorus, A Capella, Jazz Band, Strings and a secret faculty performance, dance performance, theatre performances (from comedy to tragedy and everything in between) and a delicious Luncheon Buffet provided by Sturgis Parents Association.


Art Shows

Congratulations to Kayla Cavanaugh, Mickaela Gerenia, Madeline Heino, Chloe Pontes, Blossom Roberge and Delaney Wood for winning awards at Cape Cod Art Association‘s annual student art show “Beginnings.” A selection of student pieces from each Cape high school were included in the invitational exhibit. The “Beginnings” show gives students the opportunity to display their work, meet with other student artists, share experiences and ideas, and receive recognition for their endeavors. We were pleasantly surprised to see former Executive Director Eric Hieser there attending on behalf of Rotary Club of Hyannis!

IB Senior Art Exhibition

IB Senior Art Exhibition was held at Guyer Art Barn to celebrate the accomplishments of IB Art seniors at East.

Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands

June 7th was Sturgis’ first annual Battle of the Bands! Fourteen total bands performed outside the Guyer Barn on this lucky sunny day. A group of Sturgis East & West teachers volunteered to judge the event and gave three prizes for Best Stage Presence (Micah Slade & Sierra Sullivan from West), Best Band Theme (Country Sprinkle and the Stay at Homes – Thea Goldman, Cece Kane, Sophia Beauregard from East), and Best Overall Band (Hacky Sack and the Jack Attack – Jack Holland, David Girardin, Seth Coellner from East). It was great to see some new faces come to perform as well as some familiar faces (including the alumni band and teacher bands from West & East!) come back to perform.The event was a great success and the students are already looking forward to battling –next year!


STAGE and IB Music hosted a coffeehouse at the Guyer Barn on March 6. Students (and a guest teacher!) performed in groups, as solo acts, read short stories, and even participated in a hula hoop contest. 

David Girardin, Class 0f 2018 – East

Congratulations to David Girardin for responding to Independence House, Inc. Hyannis, MA “Let Your Voice Be Heard” call-to-action during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month offering high school students the opportunity to create positive messages through music about preventing dating violence. His song, titled “We are the Change” addresses abuse in dating relationships. Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month occurs each February and is nationally recognized as a time to talk about, and take action about the level of dating violence among high school adolescents.

Independence House Executive Director, Lysetta Hurge-Putnam said, “We are so impressed with David’s recording which is an excellent action on his part to directly and immediately speak to his peer group about a taboo topic, which is the significant problem of adolescent relationship violence. It is truly inspiring that David and many other young people are activating an important movement towards a cultural shift where our cultural norms challenge violence and abuse in relationships and empower young women and men to claim the right to be involved in healthy, happy, safe and respectful relationships.”

Independence House will present David with a recording studio session sponsored by Seasound Recording Studios in Plymouth to professionally record this important and exceptional musical message. David’s video compilation of “We are the Change” will remain as part of the Independence House YouTube channel playlist and be featured on both and websites.

Several Sturgis students selected to perform at All Cape Music Festival

Students Hit the High Notes at All Cape

Originally published in Sturgis Storm Watch 2/26/2017
By Hannah Allen, Sophomore Class Reporter

Do you enjoy going to phenomenal concerts? Well, on February 4, there was a great opportunity to watch a variety of fantastic musicians. Many students from local high schools performed at the All Cape Music Festival at Barnstable High School. Some of these students were Sturgis’s very own Cecelia Kane, Hannah Allen, and David Girardin! There were four different musical performances in the festival: the Orchestra, the Band, the Mixed Chorus, and the Treble Chorus. All of these groups were music to the audience’s ears.
First was the Orchestra. The Orchestra consisted of several different string instruments varying from violas to bases. Conducted by Mr. Ira Schaefer, the Orchestra treated the audience to a beautiful repertoire that included “Overture To Nabucco” by Giuseppe Verdi as arranged by Dackow, “Hungarian Dance No. 5” by Johannes Brahms as arranged by Phillippe, “The Typewriter” by Leroy Anderson, and “Fourth Movement from Symphony No. 2” by Jean Sibelius as arranged by Leidig. It was truly a treat to be able to listen to such virtuosos.

The Treble Chorus Stole the Show!

Treble Chorus

Next came the Treble Chorus. This group, an all women’s choir, was extremely talented. With the help of a terrific conductor, William Gunn, the Treble Chorus sang like there was no tomorrow and created a stunning performance. They performed “Thulele Mama” by Lisa Young, Omnia Sol by Z. Randall Stroope, “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around” by Rollo Dilworth, “How Can I Keep From Singing” by Robert Lowry arranged by Hugh, and “Stand Together” by Jim Papoulis. They did a fantastic job!

​ Afterwards, the Mixed Chorus arrived. This was an SATB chorus (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) which contained a variety of different male and female singers that blended perfectly. Ms. Erica Washburn conducted this chorus, leading to an incredible performance. The Mixed Chorus performed “Let Their Celestial Concerts All Unite” by G. F. Handel, “Ave Verum Corpus” by W. A. Mozart, “Siehe, Um Trost War Mir Sehr Bange” by H. Von Herzogenberg, “Nelly Bly” by Stephen Foster arranged by J. Halloran, and “The Drunken Sailor” arranged by R. Sund. The Mixed Chorus could not have performed any better than they had.

The final group to perform was the Band. Conducted by the famous Dr. Brian Cardany, the band knocked the socks off everyone in the audience. The band performed “Portraits” by Jim Colonna, “Air for Band” by Frank Erickson, and “Greek Folk Song Suite” by Franco Cesarini. The Band played their hearts out all the way to the finish line.
The All Cape Music Festival was an extraordinary event for all musicians. Not only was it fun to practice and perform, but it was very rewarding to be able to walk off the stage after completing amazing performances.

Poetry Out Loud

Freshmen plant a Poet-tree with their Stunning Recitals
Originally published in Sturgis Storm Watch 2/27/2017

Poetry Out Loud Participants and Judges

By Jerry Curran, Freshman Class Reporter

Congratulations to all those who participated in the Poetry Out Loud competition! On February 2, twelve ninth and tenth grade students from Sturgis Charter Public School’s east and west campuses took part in the national Poetry Out Loud competition. Each participant recited two poems from memory.
For many of them, it was their first time speaking in an official poetry contest. Despite the novelty of the event, the students performed eloquently as if they had been reciting poetry professionally for years! Daniela Milne, a librarian at Sturgis East who helped orchestrate the event, was impressed by the young poets. “Participants recited their selected poems with such emotion and vigor that I felt mesmerized by their words,”she exclaimed. “It’s no small feat to get up in front of a group of people and recite something by memory. That all these students did so and imbued their poems with emotion was incredible! I was immensely proud of each of them”.
Although each of the performances were spectacular, there could only be one winner. Freshman Maris Poepsel came in first place, followed by fellow freshman Phoebe Cohen as the runner-up.

Poetry Out Loud runner-up Phoebe Cohen (l) and winner Maris Poepsel (r)

First place winner Maris Poepsel has had experience in public speaking for seven years now as an actress, but she was quick to point out that “You don’t need professional experience to do Poetry Out Loud. You can be introverted and still do really well.” The key component to success in the competition is commitment. “Don’t wait until the last night to practice your poem. Perfecting your poem is a longer process than that. Also, you need to have a positive attitude. Imagine yourself succeeding rather than messing up. It’ll give you more confidence going in.”

As Maris also pointed out, Poetry Out Loud can benefit students in other subjects. She said, “Reciting, performing, and determining how to show emotion while projecting your voice are all skills that help you in other class presentations.” Also, analyzing and interpreting poems is good practice to understand complex literature in subjects such as English. Therefore, spoken poetry indirectly helps students in many different subjects and helps them down the road in unexpected ways.
Overall, the 2017 Poetry Out Loud Competition was a tremendous success. Students were truly able to unleash and exhibit the emotion of the poems they chose and found an interest in poetry they may not have found otherwise. Many thanks to all of the teachers and staff who made this event possible. Also, best of luck to Maris Poepsel as she moves on to the Massachusetts Semi-Finals in March at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod!


Sturgis Prepares to Perform on A Big S.T.A.G.E.

Originally published in Sturgis Storm Watch 2/26/2017 

By Noah Whelpley, Freshman Class Reporter

Congratulations to the S.T.A.G.E. for an amazing duo of performances!

S.T.A.G.E. (Sturgis Theatre Arts Guild of Entertainers) came together on February 10-12 to put on two spectacular one-act plays. As part of a larger competition every winter, Sturgis East students performed their short play, immediately followed by Sturgis West’s own concise production. This year, East put on We Might Be Heroes, while West put on A Wrinkle In Time.

Wrinkle in Time Cast

The Sturgis West-based play is based on the book of the same name written by Madeleine L’Engle that chronicles the adventures of Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace, and her classmate Calvin O’Keefe. They are dragged into a universal battle against evil after Meg’s father disappears suddenly from her home and a mysterious old lady is, quite literally, blown into their house. East’s play, We Might Be Heroes, was a collection of individual scenes depicting superheroes preparing for an incoming alien invasion in their own unique ways, from lamenting the downsides of bringing people back to life to writing letters back and forth to old friends. Both plays are unique and make creative use of their props and stage.

The most prominent unique feature of West’s play was their clever use of blocks and people to create the set. Blocks were moved around by the set crew after each scene, along with a large number of people who moved and combined themselves in creative ways to form objects and scenery. For example, in one scene which took place inside of a house, crew members worked together to form appliances and furniture which the actors then interacted with in creative ways to further the scene. Three screens in the background were also used to create shadow puppets to add to the scenes.

Cast of We Might Be Heroes

East’s play had an interesting set as well. The most visible components were two enormous comic book pages that stood up in the center of the stage depicting the characters from the play in different scenarios. There were also two scaffolds on either side for the characters to be positioned on, and various props that were switched throughout the play.
Overall, the performances from each school were surely exhibited the superb talents of the participants. Be sure to check out the next play put on by these incredible talents!

Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild Festival

Congratulations to Nick Bucchianeri, David Girardin , Thea Goldman, Tori Mondello and Anna Paradise who won special awards during the preliminary round!

On March 4, students participated in the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild Festival (METG) Preliminary Round at Bourne High School.  STAGE Right performed their one-act play, We Might Be Heroes alongside STAGE Left’s production of A Wrinkle in Time and 6 other schools in a day that celebrated theatre and collaboration.  East students were recognized by their peers and by the adjudicators: Nick Bucchianeri and Thea Goldman were presented with Acting Awards, and David Girardin was awarded for his music compositions that accompanied the piece!

West students were recognized by their peers and by the adjudicators: Tori Mondello and Anna Paradise with Acting awards!

Nick Bucchianeri, Class of 2018

Congratulations to Nick Bucchianeri for his excellent performance in Lines in the Sand.

‘Lines in the Sand’ offers illuminating moments, taut direction

STAGE Left and Right – Young, East; Botsford, West

On March 4, students participated in the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild Festival (METG) Preliminary Round at Bourne High School.  STAGE Right performed their one-act play, We Might Be Heroes alongside STAGE Left’s production of A Wrinkle in Time and 6 other schools in a day that celebrated theatre and collaboration.  East students were recognized by their peers and by the adjudicators: Nick Bucchianeri and Thea Goldman were presented with Acting Awards, and David Girardin was awarded for his music compositions that accompanied the piece!

West students were recognized by their peers and by the adjudicators: Tori Mondello and Anna Paradise with Acting awards!

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Grandfather by Faith McGuire

Congratulations to Faith McGuire who recently received a Gold Key Award in Photography during the Massachusetts Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards ceremony in Boston. Faith’s photo entitled “Grandfather,” was taken while visiting her grandparents in Indonesia. As luck would have it, she entered the contest and discovered she won the award while her grandparents were visiting Cape Cod. Her grandparents were honored to be able to join Faith at the Boston Globe ceremony and exhibition of Gold Key winners in Boston.

Faith McGuire and her Grandfather

Congratulations to all Sturgis students who were acknowledged for their artwork at the MA Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. This is a wonderful accomplishment by our IB Art students:

Faith McGuire, Grade 11, Gold Key Winner, Photography, Grandfather

Nellie Marshall-Torres, Grade 12, Honorable Mention, Sculpture, Sun Tiger

Isabelle Racette, Grade 12, Honorable Mention, Printmaking, Intelligence

Jenna Sweeten, Grade 11, Honorable Mention, Acrylic Paint, Michelle Obama

Delaney Wood, Grade 12, Honorable Mention, Acrylic paint, Serendipity

Faith McGuire (center) speaks at Massachusetts Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Nearly 4,000 honorees from around Massachusetts were selected in the regional division of this year’s competition, with roughly 185 Gold Keys reserved for writers and 600 for visual artists. Lesley Davison, director of the regional program, said about 18,000 pieces were submitted this year — 15,000 for visual art and 3,000 for writing.
Founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious educational initiative supporting student achievement in the visual and literary arts. Over the years, Scholastic has recognized and encouraged millions of students, including Truman Capote, Philip Pearlstein, Sylvia Plath, Andy Warhol and John Updike, who won when they were teens. In more recent years, famous names such as Stephen King, Myla Goldberg, Zac Posen, Lena Dunham and Richard Linklater have become alumni of the program.

Sturgis Alive Inside

Sturgis East and West IB Music 1 classes took a trip to the Barnstable Senior Center Adult Supportive Day Program where they were able to interview elders in our community and share music with each other. This visit is part of the Sturgis Alive Inside project to inspire students to give back to the community and learn about empathy through music. The students will use the information they gained from the interview process to create playlists of Jazz, Musical Theater, Frank Sinatra, and more for elders at Barnstable Senior Center to enjoy for years to come in hopes of igniting memory through music.

Sturgis Senior Musicians Present:

Sturgis Singers Present:

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