NJPAC artists teach vocal, communication studentsFriday, June 06, 2008 By Joshua Segarra
Vocal and Communication Arts Majors from Rosa L Parks Fine and Performing Arts High School had the opportunity this spring to learn from artists associated with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Vocalist Liz McConahay visited the vocal department giving them a taste to the vocal department on what is to be expected for when they audition. For the vocal students, some of their lessons touched upon several situations such as, stage fright, going over breathing exercises and warm up exercises, and biology teachings about the body on how to take care of their vocal cords. “It’s inspiring to have them over because of the fact that we have no vocal major teacher,” said Vocal Major and Junior Brittany Dial. “It’s nice that they took the time out of their schedules to guide us in the right direction.” The lessons touched upon the different levels of singing when enough emotion is placed within their pieces. “Talking is much harder on your vocal cord than singing.” Ms. McConahay explained to the vocal majors. After warming up, the students were asked to sing a song from the movie “Sweeney Todd.” “It meant a lot to all of us knowing that they came and taught us something that we haven’t learned in a long time,” said Junior Haughton, a junior. Vocal Major Heidy Rosa also enjoyed the experience. “I feel like I have hope to do what I love, which is to sing with the choir.” Since the beginning of March, Freshmen Communications Art Majors have been working with playwright and director, Christian Eli of NJPAC. This is his first time working with Rosa Parks students. Each week, students learned the elements of play writing such as plot, theme, and character development. So far, they have written two short plays. The students are currently working on a twenty-page script. Freshman Tania Peniche was not intimidated by the assignment. “Sometimes your imagination can be your best attribute,” Peniche said. Communication Arts Teacher Courtney Goch said she is happy to work with Mr. Eli, who will continue to teach the class until the end of May. “This is a great opportunity for students to get to work with a professional playwright and director,” Ms. Goch said. Staff Writer Melissa L. Rolon contributed to this article.