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Showing posts from May, 2017

WOMEN IN MUSIC AND THE sexism that they face: Complaining Project for Lyndsey Schlax's AP Gov Class part 1

It's not a secret that the artistic world is full of prejudice and segregation of all shapes and sizes, and much like everyday life in general, sexism is present and in some cases even prominent in the music world. Orchestra conductors who are female are much harder to find than male ones, and same applies for music composers and stage directors. Why, in an age where women and men are supposedly represented equally, are there huge gender gaps in the music industry?

I found an article by Damian Thompson on The Spectator called There's a good reason why there are no great female composers, and in this article, Thompson examines how most works by female composers from the past that we attempt to glorify are not as great, to put it softly, as the works of their male counterparts. Thompson says that "[a] delicate  question lies at the heart of the subject of female composers...(and) it's 'How good is their music compared with that of male composers?'" Thompson …

MEDIA NITE 2017: Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Media Department

Media Nite 2k17 was yet another manifestation of how diverse the work done at SOTA is. Our cinematographers are truly a phenomena of SOTA. Led by Salome Milstead and Scott Eberhardt (my two beloved English teachers), the media department literally makes movies. Ranging from documentaries to animations, Media Nite is the time of the year for movie lovers to enjoy an entire evening of new and fresh films made by high school students.

I would also like to take this moment to give a huge shoutout to the Media Department's seniors (yay class of 2017!!!), consisting of Shiloh Atkinson, Ethan Bresnick, Saoirse Brownfield-Magee, Madelynne Hewitt, Avidan Novogrodsky-Godt, and Chaia Startz.
Media Nite opened with a short and funny prelude (by tradition), predominantly featuring the Media Dept's seniors and their dept heads, Scott and Salome.

The first film featured was a cute shorty called Cloud Runner by Annabella Mortenson. It was about a young girl who caught a cloud at Ocean Beach …

LAUNCH DANCE CONCERT: Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Dance Department

Most of the departments here at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts give a minimum of two concerts per year, sometimes even four (and two or three each semester). But the SOTA Dance Department does one, and a mighty one at that, near the end of the year. This upcoming weekend is this year's dance concert season. This is also the Dance Seniors' last dance concert they will ever have at SOTA, so I decided to dedicate this article to the Dance Department's seniors. The ten lovely ladies graduating from the SOTA Dance Department this year are Nasha Harris Santiago, Audrey Thao Berger, Maya Luna Imperial, Athena Miros, Brianna Vasquez Brosnan, Justyne Belle Greenlaw, Lucy Jaffar, Keiko Kurotani, Adrienne Long, and Maddy Moulton.

DISCLAIMER: I think anyone who knows me just a little bit knows that I come a very far way from dance, and cannot give much description or input other than the general mood or feel of the performance. 

Nasha Harris Santiago was heavily feature…

SPRING PIANO CONCERT: Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Piano Department (SECOND HALF)

The second half opened with Prelude Op. 32 No. 12 by Sergei Rachmaninoff, performed by freshman Isabelle Fromme. For this Rachmaninoff, the technically most challenging thing to do successfully is to maintain an even and celestial feel to the repetitive and intense pattern, predominantly played by the right hand and occasionally by the left. Isabelle executed this wonderfully with a soaring and light touch in whichever hand was playing the sixteenth-note pattern, and a strong and emotion-filled melody line always emphasized. Although a short piece, it's performance was definitely a great opening to the second half of the concert and a great way to get the audience back into the groove.

Ritmo (Andalusian Dances) by Manuel Infante was performed by Isabelle Fromme and junior Steve Fang. This very energetic and invigorating piece was performed very well by Isabelle and Steve who, with their combined efforts, maintained a high level of zeal throughout the whole performanc…

SPRING PIANO CONCERT: Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Piano Department (FIRST HALF)

The Piano Department at SOTA, although small, plays an extremely prominent role in the musical portion of the school as a whole. Students from the Piano department participate in performances of all types across the school, ranging from Vocal concerts to Orchestra and Chambre music concerts.  Despite being very much in demand by the whole school (cough cough), not everyone acknowledges that these students are also fabulous and talented soloists, in addition to being greatly skilled collaboricians (collaborators).

Friday, May 5, was the second out of the two piano recitals featuring a semester worth of work. Directed by Ava Soifer, the piano recital featured Henry Plotnick, Taylor Strongheart, Xing Yu Lai, Constance Joves, Angelina Wong, Simon Tabakh, Roman Dimov, Isabelle Fromme, Steve Fang, Janet Lin, Mikhael Vtorushin, Shabnam Jafari, and Jessica Kur.

The opening number of the recital was sophomore Henry Plotnick's performance of Manuel De Falla's Serenada Andaluz. In his c…


The Jazz and Contemporary Vocal Department is a new department that has been forming over the past four years at SOTA. It was only this year that the group of young musicians, led by Angie Doctor and co-director Steve Blum, were able to become their own department within the Classical Vocal department. This year's five seniors are the VERY FIRST senior class of the newly formed Jazz and Contemporary Vocal Department to graduate.

Performing were the five young women who will be the first graduating class of this new department: Kathlynn Simotas, Briana Sabella, Ava Kennedy, Ella Stewart, and Maddie Muzio. On April 29, 2017, they gave an absolutely fascinating senior recital, featuring Max Tarlov, Nathan Savant, and Nelson Koskela, who are also seniors who participate in the jazz ensemble rehearsals. The recital also featured the Advanced Jazz Choir consisting of the seniors and Sivan Levavi, Danielle Ho-Vuong, Vyncent Guerra, and Cap Sharon. Performing were also Makeda Abiol, Oliv…

SEVEN DEADLY SEAMS: Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Technical Theater Dept Fashion Show

The seventh annual fashion show on April 28, 2017, hosted by Costume Head Annete Ribeiro, was a waterfall of colorful and innovative new clothing. Featuring clothing sets of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, the Theater Tech Department stunned everyone (yet again) with their skill and mastery at creating their very own show with a set design meant to amaze and intrigue the audience.

Designers of collections included Grace McGee, Bea Nussbaum, Sophia Lunardi, Alyssa McDowell, Assata Conley (freshmen),Mina Kreutzer Joo, Char Burns (sophomores), Julias Ocampo, Beatrice Griffin, Amarisa Azucar, Maya Clemmons, Meztli Mercado (juniors), and Nina Patchell (senior).

All the clothing was well fit and displayed creativity, unusual influences, and scintillating patterns and designs. Unfortunately, I do not have a list of all the models in the program, but I can state for a fact that they were all elegant and original in their presenting of the clothing.  Each individual brought their …