Annual Wolf Trap Grants for High School Performing Arts Teachers offer opportunities for local performing arts teachers to help students foster a love of arts through creative and ambitious projects
Vienna, Virginia (October 30, 2018) — Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts recognizes seven outstanding high school performing arts teachers and their one-of-a-kind programs with grants as part of the organization’s annual Wolf Trap Grants for High School Performing Arts Teachers. Teachers from Fairfax, Arlington, and Loudoun counties in Virginia; Prince George’s county in Maryland; and the District of Columbia received grants for innovative projects that enrich their school’s curriculums, culminating in final student performances. For additional information on the program, please visit http://www.wolftrap.org/education/programs/grants-for-performing-arts-teachers.aspx
The annual grants acknowledge the instruction and performance achievements of public high school music, dance and theatre teachers. Awardees receive a grant of $5,000 to support special projects that parallel Wolf Trap’s performance and education priorities, including artist residencies, commissions, master classes, and technology in the arts. Grantees are selected through a competitive application process, and are nominated by a panel of judges consisting of arts supervisors from each of the local counties represented in the program, former grantees, and Wolf Trap Teaching Artists.
Awardees for the 2018-2019 school year are: Tedrick Bonds, Vocal Music Teacher, Eastern High School (D.C. Public Schools); Tony Cimino-Johnson, Theater Teacher, Rock Ridge High School (Loudoun County); Justin Daniel, Theater Teacher, Tuscarora High School (Loudoun County); Dr. Miroslav Loncar, Guitar Teacher, Park View High School (Loudoun County); Michelle “Mimi” McDonald, Dance Instructor, Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School (Prince George’s County); Aaron Morgan, Director of Bands, W.T. Woodson High School (Fairfax County); and Bill Podolski, Chorus Teacher, HB Woodlawn Secondary Program (Arlington County).
“This year’s grantees were truly exceptional, and on behalf of the Wolf Trap Foundation we congratulate them on their hard work and inspiring projects and performances,” said Akua Kouyate-Tate, Vice President, Education, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. “These educators are true advocates for what incredible impact the arts can make in our schools, in our communities, and in our world. We are proud to support them and their students.”
Tedrick Bonds, Eastern High School, DC Public Schools
As part of his “Bach to Rap” class, Tedrick Bonds will utilize his Wolf Trap grant to provide music and technical resources for his Soundtrack project – a program where students are able to create original music to accompany an original film, both of which the students write, edit, and produce. Students will be able to submit their work to film festivals, and they will also feature local artists in both music and film projects. Students will present their completed projects at their school performance in spring 2019.
Tony Cimino-Johnson, Rock Ridge High School, Loudoun County Public Schools
Rock Ridge High School has been asked by Theatrical Rights Worldwide to produce the national premier of Bright Star, an original production developed by legendary comedian Steve Martin. Both the Musical Theatre Class (35 students), as well as the school’s Dual-Enrollment arts course (22 students), will be serving as the rehearsal vehicle for the production. Rock Ridge students will perform Bright Star for the local community in January 2019 and at the Virginia Thespian Festival in February 2019.
Justin Daniel, Tuscarora High School, Loudoun County Public Schools
Justin Daniel plans to use his Wolf Trap grant to produce the school’s first ‘relaxed’ theater performance, an accessible show with accommodations for audience members with special needs. Justin will bring in guest artists from Maryland-based Imagination Stage, including Inclusion Specialist Katie Keddell. Students will premiere a ‘relaxed’ performance of Seussical in May 2019.
Dr. Miroslav Loncar, Park View High School, Loudoun County Public Schools
Dr. Loncar will be commissioning a new composition for his beginning, intermediate, advanced, and artist guitar classes, in an effort to raise awareness about plastic pollution in our oceans. The piece will be written and developed in partnership with two composers, Javier Farías and Olga Amelkina-Vera. 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 Public Schools
The Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School Dance and Biology departments will collaborate on its second-annual ‘DanScience’ (dance and science) performance entitled Mitosis on the Move. The original performance will unite more than 200 students from across arts and science disciplines. 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 final performances will take place at Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School in May 2019.
Aaron Morgan, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax County Public Schools
Under the direction of Aaron Morgan, the Woodson High School band programs will perform at the Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA) professional development conference, held at the Homestead in Hot Springs, VA. In preparation for this prestigious performance in front of educators from all over the Commonwealth of Virginia, Morgan will use grant funds to bring area instrumentalists to coach each section of the band, providing specialized, 1:1 work for each student. The W.T. Woodson Wind Ensemble will perform throughout the Fairfax area this fall leading up to their performance at the VMEA professional development Conference in November 2018.
Bill Podolski, HB Woodlawn Secondary Program, Arlington County Public Schools
With the introduction of HB Woodlawn Secondary Program’s new music wing in 2005, the school’s music programs commissioned an original piece by composer Z. Randall Stroope titled O Aula Nobilis. Over the next several years, as the school transitions the high school from its current building to a new one under construction, the music programs will go through a similar experience, and plan to use the Wolf Trap grant funds to commission a brand new piece of original music to celebrate the future and commemorate the past. The composer, Jonathan Kolm, will provide master classes with the students to set the piece and prepare them for the final performance. The music ensembles will premiere the commissioned piece at a dedication ceremony for the new building in fall 2019.
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, produces and presents a full range of performance and education programs in the Greater Washington area, as well as nationally. Wolf Trap features three performance venues: the outdoor Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, both located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and The Barns at Wolf Trap, located down the road from the national park and adjacent to the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. The 7,028-seat Filene Center is operated in partnership with the National Park Service and annually showcases an extensive array of diverse artists, ranging from pop, country, folk, and blues to classical music, dance, and theatre, as well as multimedia presentations, from May through September. The Barns at Wolf Trap is operated by the Wolf Trap Foundation year round, and during the summer months is home to the Grammy-nominated Wolf Trap Opera, one of America’s outstanding resident ensemble programs for young opera singers. Wolf Trap’s education programs include the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, a diverse array of arts education classes, grants, and a nationally recognized internship program.
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Peter Milligan, Manager, Education Communications
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