Dear Harrison Community,
The fine and performing arts are integral parts of the student experience in our schools. Our latest District newsletter highlights the many ways our students have earned recognition and demonstrated achievement in the fine and performing arts. It features the work of ensembles, classes, and individuals in grades K-12. Their work has touched thousands of audience members, and we are proud to showcase their accomplishments with you.
The fine and performing arts program develops creativity and encourages students to discover their unique voices.
As you will learn, our students have received many impressive recognitions from leading experts. We are equally proud of the contributions they make to their school community. High school musicians support 8th graders preparing to transition to HHS band and orchestra, and 5th graders mentor 4th graders learning an instrument for the first time.
Junior and senior Art students share ideas with classmates on capturing color and light on canvas, and theater students collaborate to write and stage original work. HHS's amazing dance program engages experienced dance students to support beginners. The arts have provided a limitless canvas to illuminate and illustrate our students’ creativity and generosity. I am certain you will enjoy and be impressed with their work; hope to see you at year end celebrations.
Harrison's Music Education Program Among Best in Nation
Harrison Central School District received the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. This award is given to school districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
Celebrating Student Achievements
Five Metro Nominations for Into the Woods
The Harrison High School Footlight Players production of "Into the Woods" received five Metro Award Nominations. The Metro Awards recognize the best in high school musical theater productions across Bergen, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester Counties. Congratulations to HHS nominees, Jadyn Schwartz, Jack Eiff, Alondra Nolasco Rojas, Simona Forgione and the "Hello, Little Girl" ensemble.
HHS Earns Gold and LMK Silver Awards at Music Festival
Congratulations to the HHS String Ensemble and LMK 8th Grade Band, Mr. Bastone, and Mr. Sachs for their outstanding performances at the NYSSMA Major Ensemble Festival. The HHS String Ensemble earned the highest rating, Gold with Distinction, as well as praise for their technical accuracy and mature sense of musicality and style. The LMK 8th grade Band received a Silver rating and positive feedback about their performance. View list of student performers
Five HHS Students Earn Prestigious Scholastic Art Award
Five HHS students are Scholastic Art Award winners. For the past 100 years, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have celebrated originality and creative excellence by students in grades 7-12. Students throughout the country submitted original works of art judged based on originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal voice or vision by a panel of visual arts experts. Congratulations to the HHS students who received this prestigious recognition: Diego Abad, City, Silver Key; Alexis Alfaro, Investing in Yourself, Honorable Mention; Gianna Allegretti, How Can I Fix This?, Honorable Mention; Ezra, Self-Portrait, Silver Key; Jane El Khoury, The Game of Life, Honorable Mention. Jane El Khoury, earned Honorable Mention for her portfolio of work, entitled Social Psychology. Her piece, The Game of Life, won in both the individual and the portfolio category. View Gallery
Dance Student Recognized for Original Choreography
HHS IB Dance Students Rachel Kindler and Kieran Flores placed in the top five in New York State in the PTA Reflections National Choreography Competition, among 563 entries from New York. Choreography for the competitions is judged on interpretation, creativity, and technique.
Students Inducted into NHS for Dance Arts
Dance students inducted into the 2023 National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NHSDA) were recognized at the Spring Dance Concert. The ceremony honored new junior inductees and seniors inducted last year. NHSDA induction is based on grade point average in dance and points scored by meeting the honor society’s general guidelines: collaborative teamwork, motivation and participation in the many aspects of dance, including choreography, performance, production, and community outreach to the HHS dance program. Congratulations to our honorees!
CHORUS, ORCHESTRA & BAND
HHS Symphonic Winds Ensemble Performs at Carnegie Hall
The Harrison High School Symphonic Winds performed at Carnegie Hall where they played works by Nishimura, Standridge, Ziek, and Williams from the storied concert hall. Members of Symphonic Winds rehearsed Monday evenings beginning in the fall to prepare for the performance on the historic stage. Read More
HHS Students Selected for NYSSMA All-State, Area All-State Concerts
Two Harrison High School students earned positions in NYSSMA All State ensembles. Fjord Deda earned first seat trumpet in the All State Symphonic Band, and Jack Eiff was selected as a Bass in the All State Chorus, Fjord and Jack performed with the 565 top student musicians chosen from across New York State during the annual Winter Conference of the New York State School Music Association. In addition, nine Harrison High School students, Chorus: Jack Eiff, Joey Lipple Smetana, Lucia Lammers, David Fiery; Orchestra: Ai Yamamoto, Matthew Perez; Band: Fjord Deda, Sabrina Kalanz, Charles Zenhausen, were selected as Area All-State performers.
Elementary & LMK Students Perform in All-County Band, Orchestra
Diana Millard, Jonathan Myung, Amelia Gilmore, Rio Yazawa, Sophie Baker, and Miles Yan were selected for Elementary and Intermediate All-County Band and Orchestra. Based on their outstanding New York State School Music Association Solo performances last spring, which identified them as among the best young musicians in Westchester, the students earned seats in the region’s premier band and orchestra.
Coffee House Showcases HHS & LMK Student Performers
More than 50 students from HHS and LMK took the stage in front of family and friends at the high school Student Union for the return of the HHS Coffee House this Spring! Coffee House is a unique event that provides a space for our students to choose, or even compose, their own pieces to perform. This year31 acts featured a wide variety of genres and ensembles that reflected students’ interests and skills.
Strings Extravaganza Features 283 Harrison Students on One Stage
String musicians of all levels, from beginner to the most accomplished, performed together for a full house at the Performing Arts Center at Harrison High School. Nearly every student in the District's orchestra program participated in the 9th Annual String Extravaganza, a festival featuring all 283 strings students in grades 5 through 12.
Students Perform Winter, Spring and Ensemble Concerts
Harrison students entertained family, friends and the community at 24 Concerts this year!
After 22 Years Mr. Briem Takes a Final Bow
After a decades long career in music and 22 years as a teacher in Harrison, Mr. Charlie Briem will retire at the end of the school year. Mr. Briem’s love of music began as a clarinet player in 4th grade; he added saxophone in high school, received a BFA in music performance, and then a Masters in teaching music. Mr. Briem worked at a recording studio until joining the Harrison faculty where he has conducted concert, marching, swing, jazz bands, percussion showcase, and taught music theory and IB music classes. He was an integral part of opening the HPAC in 2007, and served as tech crew advisor, growing the program to include more than 40 students who run the operation each year. Over the years, Mr. Briem inspired thousands of students to find their voices through music. He looks forward to traveling with his wife of 45 years, and continuing to play in bands, write and study music. Enjoy retirement, Mr. Briem, your patience, dedication and mentorship will be missed!
FINE & VISUAL ARTS
Exhibition Features Work from IB Art Students
Students in the International Baccalaureate Art High Level exhibited a culmination of their work and study during an exhibition at Harrison High School. IB Art classes promote, encourage and facilitate the creation of a body of work that is directed by the interests and concerns of the student and informed by exposure to the interests and concerns of other individuals and cultures, both present and past. Over two years, students explore and work in a variety of media and methods, study art history and study the techniques and inspirations of past and contemporary artists as they work to develop their own artistic voice. View Gallery
Harrison Students Featured in Legislative Art Exhibit
Original artwork from six Harrison High School students, Matthew Carrea, Frances Duden, Sofia Vera, Ami Goble, Olivia Fokusorgbor, and Lily Seibel, is featured in the New York State Art Teachers Association (NYSATA) Legislative Exhibit. NYSATA’s largest public display of student artwork includes pieces from students across New York State. The exhibition, which was founded in 1990, is an opportunity to connect students with their legislators. Traditionally held in the Legislative Office Building in Albany each Spring, this year’s event was held virtually and can be viewed until February 2024. View gallery of Harrison student artwork
LMK Exhibition Brings Creative Visions to Life
The LMK Middle School Art Show featured artwork from students designed in a variety of artistic styles, designs and techniques. The exhibit included LMK Stories, a mural created by students in 8th grade elective art as a visual representation of personal growth. Members of the LMK Skylarks music club performed during the event.
Student Work Featured at Westport & Katonah Museums
Harrison IB art students, Diego Abad, Alexis Alfaro, Jane El Khoury, Ami Goble, Emi Kaneko, Arianna Kaplan, Angelea Nicaj, were among nearly 200 students whose work was featured in the annual Westport Museum of Contemporary Art Exhibition entitled, Who You Are When You Are Dreaming. The exhibit was curated to highlight the creativity and talent of student artists. View Gallery
Original work from ten HHS students, Anasofia Arango, Ella Farago, Prabhleen Boparai, Ami Goble, Alexis Alfaro, Arianna Kaplan, Jane Elkhoury, Angelea Nicaj, Gianna Allegretti, and Lauren Ross, was displayed at the 2023 Young Artists Exhibition at the Katonah Museum. In addition, Gianna Allegretti, Ami Goble and Arianna Kaplan assisted with curating, designing and installing the exhibition, while Emi Kaneko and Anasofia Arango worked with other student artists to design postcards promoting the show. View Gallery
Digital Arts: Where Artistry & Technology Meet
Digital Art and Design introduces students to a unique approach to the world around them by exploring design through photography, graphic design, web design, digital illustration & videography. Students take a collaborative approach to cultivate artistic abilities and technological aptitude, merging new technologies with traditional forms of artistic expression. Explore the creativity of our students’ work in the Digital Art and Design newsletters: Fall Digital Arts Newsletter, Winter Digital Arts Newsletter, and Spring Digital Arts Newsletter.
HHS theater students Inducted into the International Thespian Society
A ceremony inducting HHS theater students into the International Thespian Society was conducted at the conclusion of the One Act Festival. The International Thespian Society recognizes student achievement students in all facets of theater performance and production. Congratulations to new inductees: Gianna Aubry, Tyler Bocek, Gisel Lopez, Elias Macmillan, Siobhan Rice, Luke Castellano, and Shane Larkin.
Audiences Entertained with Musical and Theatrical Productions
Harrison students entertained audiences with musical and theatrical productions throughout the year. HHS Playhouse presented Puffs in the fall and Footlight Players brought their Metro-nominated musical Into the Woods to the HPAC stage this spring. LMK and HHS theater students developed and performed a series of original plays at the One Act Festival, and the LMK Theater Club brought down the house with their performance of the musical Newsies. Our youngest performers shined in classic musicals including The Wizard of Oz at Preston and Purchase Elementary Schools, Annie at Harrison Avenue Elementary School, and Aladdin at Parsons Elementary School. The elementary shows are presented in partnership with the District, the Elementary Enrichment Committee, and each school’s PTA.
HHS Footlight Players Perform Into the Woods
LMK Drama Club Takes the Stage with Newsies
HHS Playhouse Presents Puffs, a Unique Adventure in Wizardry