Many artists and arts lovers trace their initial spark of interest back to a high school performing arts teacher. It’s from them that they learned to express themselves, assert their individuality, collaborate with others—and most of all, discover that distinct sense of excitement and possibility many of us only get from the performing arts. And so, Wolf Trap rewards the teachers who make it all possible—particularly those creating innovative new programs.
Wolf Trap Grants are awarded to individual public high school teachers in the performing arts for instruction leading to student performance. Selected teachers for the 2018-2019 school year each received a grant of $5,000 and represent Washington, DC; Prince George’s County, Maryland; Loudoun County, Virginia; Arlington County, Virginia; and Fairfax County, Virginia.
2018-2019 Grant Recipients
Eastern High School, Washington, DC
The main act: To facilitate his student’s interest in creating scripts and music, Tedrick has created ‘Soundtrack’, a subject within his "Bach to Rap" classes. By offering workshops with video and software editors, his students will learn to create original music and set it to a filmed script they have created. The goal is to feature local artists on their projects and eventually submit their work to film festivals.
The grande finale: Students will present their completed projects at their school performance in spring 2019.
Rock Ridge High School, Loudoun County, VA
The main act: Rock Ridge Performing Arts was asked by Theatrical Rights Worldwide, specifically Mr. Jim Hoare, to produce the National Premiere of Bright Star. Tony will work with Steve Martin and Mr. Hoare to develop the final script that will be used by all future high school productions in the nation. The project goal is to provide a unique opportunity for his students to work with both the licensing company and the playwright to develop a school edition of Bright Star. The script that is developed, as well as staging notes, annotations, and a letter from the production team will live on forever in the script as a resource for future high school productions throughout the country. In addition to performing for the local community, Rock Ridge will perform in front of 900 Virginia thespians and teachers throughout the state of Virginia at the Virginia Thespian Festival in February.
The grande finale: Rock Ridge students will perform Bright Star for the local community in January 2019 and at the Virginia Thespian Festival in February 2019.
Tuscarora High School, Loudoun County, VA
The main act: To bring awareness to the importance of inclusion and accessibility within the performing arts, Justin and his students will produce Tuscarora High School Theatre’s first “relaxed” performance geared towards students with autism, learning disabilities, and sensory/communication needs. Guest Artists trained in special education and inclusion will work with Justin’s classes to plan and implement strategies within the performance and also discuss the importance of accessibility for all audiences. The final production of Seussical will be performed in May 2019 for a diverse audience of students and parents.
The grande finale: Students will premiere a “relaxed” performance of Seussical in May 2019.
Dr. Miroslav Loncar
Park View High School, Loudoun County, VA
The main act: To help raise awareness about plastic in oceans, Miroslav will commission a new composition for his Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, and Artist Guitar classes. The composition will be based on a short video by the United Nations about plastic in oceans and its impact on birds. Miroslav will teach the classes to play the composition and the composer will coach them for a few days prior to conducting the final performance. It will be seen by an audience of several thousand, as it will be performed live as well as streamed.
The grande finale: Students will premiere the commissioned composition at the school concert in spring 2019.
Michelle “Mimi” McDonald
Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr High School, Prince George’s County, MD
The main act: Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School Dance and Biology departments will embark on their second annual "DanScience" Performance entitled "Mitosis on the Move". Both departments will work together to create a full-length professional production from the planning to the implementation of the show itself. It is their goal to create a shared magical and yet innovative program that will include all aspects of dance production including lighting, props, costuming, and choreography, as well as biological exploration and discovery.
The grande finale: The final performances will take place at Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School in May 2019.
W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax County, VA
The main act: W.T Woodson Wind Ensemble has the honor of performing for the Virginia Music Educators Association Professional Development Conference at the Homestead at the end of this year. In preparation for their performance, the students will work with Guest Artists that will provide invaluable insight into performance on their instrument, musical nuance, and demonstration of artistry on a professional level. To bring the ensemble performance together and provide cohesion to their performance, Aaron will bring in Dr. Robert Ambrose, current Director of Bands and Professor at Georgia State University. He is scheduled to meet with the ensemble throughout the fall and will also guest conduct the performance at VMEA.
The grande finale: The W.T. Woodson Wind Ensemble will perform throughout the Fairfax area this fall leading up to their performance at the Virginia Music Educators Association Professional Development Conference in November 2018.
HB Woodlawn Secondary School, Arlington County, VA
The main act: To commemorate the future building that will house the music ensembles at HB Woodlawn Secondary School, Bill will commission a composer to write a piece in collaboration with the music students and teachers. Students from Creative Writing classes will have the opportunity to submit text to be used for the composition. The composer, Jonathan Kolm, will provide master classes with the students to set the piece and prepare them for the final performance. The piece will be performed by the collective music department for the school and the local Arlington community at the dedication ceremony for the new building in September 2019.
The grande finale: The music ensembles will premiere the commissioned piece at a dedication ceremony for the new building in fall 2019.
Eligibility and Application Process
Online applications for the 2019-2020 school year will be available in March 2019.
Applicants must be a public high school teacher of music, dance or theater currently teaching in Washington, DC; Montgomery County or Prince George's County, Maryland; Loudoun County, Arlington County or Fairfax County, Virginia.
The grant projects must take place during the 2019-2020 school year. The project should parallel Wolf Trap’s performance and technology priorities (listed below) and culminate with a student performance. The majority of the grant money must be used for student instruction and learning. With prior approval from Wolf Trap, minimal funds may be used to purchase equipment if it is a major component of the project.
Projects eligible for funding considerations are:
- Artist Residencies – Wolf Trap will support residencies with professional performing artists to support and supplement classroom work leading to student performance.
- Commissions – Wolf Trap will support a teacher, student, or visiting guest artist in the creation of an original dance, music, or theatre piece for a specific group of students that would be performed by the students in concert.
- Master Classes – Wolf Trap will support a visiting guest artist to teach a series of master classes to students in conjunction with class study and student performance.
- STEM – Wolf Trap will support collaborations that explore Science, Technology, Engineering or Math through an artistic discipline.
- Technology in the Arts – Wolf Trap will support technological improvements that may allow for further educational opportunities in the arts and encourage technical and media applications in instruction leading to integration of technology in student performance.
- Going Green – Wolf Trap celebrates the relationship between art and nature, using the arts to help protect the environment. Grantees are encouraged to consider “green” projects and to create a culture of environmental responsibility in their performing arts programs.
Teacher grantees and their schools will be responsible for the design and implementation of proposed projects, which includes the selection of participating performing artists and works. Wolf Trap is not able to secure artists and/or permissions.
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