Wolf Trap Awards Eight Grants to Washington, D.C. Metro High Schools to Fund Virtual and In-Person Performing Arts Projects | Wolf Trap

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Wolf Trap Awards Eight Grants to Washington, D.C. Metro High Schools to Fund Virtual and In-Person Performing Arts Projects

Projects Span Schools Across D.C. Public Schools and Montgomery,
Prince George’s, Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudon Counties;
Wolf Trap Will Showcase Projects on Its Virtual Stage Platform

Vienna, VA (March 31, 2021) – Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts has awarded grants to eight local high schools across metropolitan Washington, D.C. grants to fund music, dance, or theater projects at their respective schools, as part of Wolf Trap’s Grants for High School Performing Arts Teachers Program. Projects will be either in-person and virtual, and in some cases, will be collaborative across the school’s county. Wolf Trap will feature grantees’ progress via #WolfTrapVirtualStage and via Wolf Trap’s Virtual Stage platform.

This year’s grantees include teachers from Thomas S. Wootton High School (Montgomery County, MD); High Point High School (Prince George’s County, MD); Centreville High School (Fairfax County, VA); Independence High School (Loudoun County, VA); H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program (Arlington County, VA); Yorktown High School (Arlington County, VA); Woodgrove High School (Loudoun County, VA); and Bard High School Early College (Washington, D.C. Public Schools).

“The arts teach resiliency, fosters collaboration, can be a forum for self-expression, and helps create a pathway toward a future career,” said Cate Bechtold, Director, Internships and Community Programs, Education for Wolf Trap. “The high school grants program goal is to recognize teachers who are developing creative, innovative programs for their students and providing them with support to help make the projects possible.”

Awardee’s projects include:

  • Susan Eckerle, Thomas S. Wootton High School: Wootton’s 50th Anniversary: Composing for Your Alma Mater. Composer C.L. Thomas will lead master classes on composition and music technology before working with students to write an alma mater in celebration of the school’s 50th anniversary. The new work will be included in the school’s spring concert.
  • Darryl Pilate, High Point High School: Collaboration through Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process. Through this grant, Matthew Cumbie, a collaborative dance maker and artist educator in Washington, D.C., will share a variety of tools and creative practices that offer new ways of connecting through dance and building literacy and language acquisition. The project will be showcased at in the school’s virtual spring concert.
  • Christie Blewett, Centreville High School: “Failure is an Option.” Teaching Artists from Arlington’s Synetic Theater will guide students through a series of physical theater master classes while encouraging students to try new techniques, make courageous choices, and gain more confidence.
  • Ashley Driscoll, Independence High School, in conjunction with orchestra programs from all 17 county high schools: Orchestra Technique in County-Wide Master Class. Orchestra students from across the county will meet virtually with guest musicians specializing in violin, viola, and cello to explore topics such as bow strokes, tone production, and vibrato.
  • Hope Lambert, H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, in conjunction with theater programs from all four county high schools: A Pop-up, Drive-by Video Mapping Installation: “Collaboration During Isolation.” Technical theater students from across Arlington County will create original videos based on their experiences during the pandemic and their hopes for the future. In partnership with Arlington County Cultural Affairs, these works will be projected onto an outdoor installation at each high school.
  • Jocelyn Mullins, Yorktown High School: A Class Act NY. Two prominent Broadway performers, Christopher Fitzgerald (“Waitress,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Waitress”) and Thayne Jasperson (“Hamilton,” “Matilda,” “Newsies”) will join the virtual classroom to help students create powerful performances, advance vocal techniques, and give insight into careers in the performing arts.
  • Addie Schafer Benko, Woodgrove High School: “Pop Up” Purcellville Museum. Students will learn how to connect art with dramaturgical research while presenting a pre-show experience for their outdoor performance of “Oklahoma!” The “Pop Up” Museum will take place prior to the show in mid-May (both in-person and through a virtual experience).
  • Dr. John Peasant Jr., Bard High School Early College: “Shades of Sound: Understanding Diversity Within Different Musical Settings.” Through a series of performances and professional lectures from local artists, students will gain insight on how musicians of color navigate the professional music industry.

Wolf Trap’s annual high school grants program acknowledges high quality instruction and performance achievements of public high school music, dance and theater teachers. Awardees receive a financial grant in support of special projects that align with Wolf Trap’s performance and education priorities, including artist residencies, commissions, master classes, and technology in the arts. For more information about Wolf Trap’s High School Grants Program visit wolftrap.org/grants.

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 early career 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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Media Information
(Please do not publish contact information)


Liz Nickless, Assistant Director, Education Communications & Strategy
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
(571) 585-2512, lizn@wolftrap.org