JSerra Students Win Pageant of the Masters Junior Art Contest

photo%201-1Congratulations to the Visual Arts students that were juried into the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts Junior Art Show. Our three students that made the show were sophomores Ethan Worden, Megan Lasken and senior Noah Mudd.
We also congratulate Noah Mudd for winning first place in his junior division/category.
” I am so proud of the hard work these students put in to winn this prestigious award”, said  Nancy Harrell, Artist In Residence Director. The Festival runs through the end of August to view all the great work.

JSerra Students Exhibit Photography in Laguna Pageant of the Masters

student2Ten pieces of student photography will be displayed in the Laguna Pageant of the Masters, the most of any Orange County School.

Each piece was selected by art authorities from thousands of submissions representing schools throughout Orange County. The exhibit has become not only a showcase for new generations of young Orange County student artists but also a vivid testimonial to the value and importance of continuing arts education in our school systems.

Junior, Nikka Contursi will exhibit three photos at the Laguna Pageant of the Masters, the most from any school in the history of the pageant. 
The following students have demonstrated excellence in traditional darkroom skills, alternative processes and digital media:

Connection- Aryanna Hamidi

Playful Lions- Kelsey Testman

Dream Big- Josephine Duran

New Beginning- Zach Woznicki

Face Up- Courtney Vaccher

Insomnia – Nicolette Contursi

Cost was here- Nicolette Contursi

Broguiere’s – Nicolette Contursi

Blind -Courtney Strafeldas

Presentation of Time- Claire Grace

“I’m so proud of all my students and their hard work, this is such an honor,” said Regina Stehney, photography teacher.

The exhibit is now showing through August 31 from 10 a.m. –11:30, at Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach.

JSerra Theater Nominated by the America High School Theatre Festival for Opportunity to Perform in Scotland

ahstf-american-high-school-theatre-festival-85174183*A press release from JSerra Catholic High School

The America High School Theatre Festival (AHSTF) nominates JSerra Catholic High School’s production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap for The Fringe Theater summer performances.

Out of thousands of applications, the AHSTF annually chooses only ten high schools in the country to compete in the prestigious Festival.

“I am thrilled to have our wonderful production of The Mousetrap and the theater program here at JSerra recognized for our work. I am incredibly proud of the student actors who commit so much of their time and sacrifice so much to be involved in a production. It is rewarding to see all of our hard work and dedication be honored,” said Deborah Marley, JSerra Theater Director.

The high school with the winning performance from the festival will move on to perform in Edinburgh, Scotland, at The Fringe Festival. The group that moves on to Scotland will have the opportunity to perform a play of their choice four times on the main stages. The group will also take professional masters classes while in Scotland.

The premier festival attracts professional actors and theater companies alike.

“JSerra is honored to be acknowledged by this wonderful organization. I am so happy that our students’ efforts and hard work, and that of our theater teacher Deb Marley, have been given recognition through this great opportunity in Theater Arts,” said Nancy Harrell, JSerra Artist-in-Residence Director.

San Juan Idol: Rotary’s Song Contest Winners

L-R: Judges Roz Westra and Peter Hornby, contest winners Daniel Bondi, Annie Pfost, Madison Roush and Rotary Club president Carol Daderian. Credit Penny Arévalo
L-R: Judges Roz Westra and Peter Hornby, contest winners Daniel Bondi, Annie Pfost, Madison Roush and Rotary Club president Carol Daderian. Credit Penny Arévalo.

For the first time in school history, JSerra was invited to participate in the Rotary Vocal Competition and JSerra could not be more proud of the performers. Congratulations to JSerra senior Daniel Bondi, and junior Annie Pfost for their accomplishments at the annual competition.

Song contest winners from San Juan high schools were selected at San Juan Capistrano Rotary Club’s annual song competition on Wednesday Feb. 22 at San Juan Hills Golf Club.

From a field of 17 entrants, first place went to JSerra Catholic High School senior Daniel Bondi, singing “Me!” from Beauty & The Beast. Also from JSerra Catholic High School, second place went to junior Annie Pfost, singing “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables.

“Four of our own students, Victoria Moyzis, Matthew Chamberlain, Annie Pfost and Daniel Bondi went up against 14 others and we walked away with first and second place,” said Brian Dehn, JSerra Choral Director.  “Not only did we present ourselves extremely well with taking the top two spots, we also were commended for our professionalism and maturity. JSerra was well represented and the parents, fellow vocal coaches and I could not be more proud of these four talented students.

Winter Showcase Attracts the Masses

482810_536951743011273_986345173_nBy: Nancy Harrell, Artist in Residence Director

The Artist In Residence program hosted their annual Winter Showcase at SOKA University this February. The showcase highlighted many of the 750 students that participate in the arts. The audience of over 600 was enthusiastic in receiving the performances, and helped make the evening a great success.

The student performances were classic, fun, experimental, and emotional. Performances included everything from classical ballet pieces performed using New York Ballet choreography, to the choir ending the evening with a beautiful rendition of ‘The Lord Bless you and Keep You,’ while dancers performed a sacred dance piece to the music.

Choir also brought down the house with their version of Fun’s ‘Some Nights’. Instrumental music showed off their abilities with our string ensemble and our steel drum band bringing the audience to their feet. The theater department opened the show with ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business,’ and concluded with a stage combat scene from Romeo and Juliet.

Visual Arts and Broadcast Journalism students were well represented with a visual arts show and reception in the lobby before the performances began. Broadcast Journalism presented a wonderful piece showing the best of The Lion Report, which showed the tremendous growth our students have experienced this year with the implementation of our new Broadcast Journalism program.

The evening highlighted what a presence the visual and performing arts have on campus, and it continues to grow.

View the album from the night’s performances on Facebook. 

JSerra Baits Audiences with “The Mousetrap”

the-mousetrap1Cappies review: ‘The Mousetrap’

“Three blind mice, three blind mice. See how they run, see how they run.” The nursery rhyme takes on a much darker meaning in “The Mousetrap” than good old Mother Goose intended.

People, not mice run for their lives in JSerra Catholic High School’s ode to the classic show.

Since opening in 1952 in London’s West End, Agatha Christie’s mystery thriller has been entertaining audiences for sixty years. With more than 23,000 performances, it is the longest running show of all time.

Despite its longevity, the show has kept its allure of mystery. It keeps its twist ending a secret from all but those who have seen it, by keeping the show out of print. Audience members get to enjoy it for all it is worth when they see it for the first time.

As authentic as the costume and make-up designs are, the true success of a show depends on the actors’ performances and this cast does not disappoint.

The bright-eyed Mollie Ralston (Kallin Zahren) plays her part admirably through her believable sentimentality toward the chaotic Christopher Wren (Ryan Najjar) and her loud cries into the second act.

To read the complete review click here. 

JSerra Performs for City Tree Lighting

2fef77ed2ecf1f834966590d90c1276dBy Jackie Connor, San Juan Patch

Historic Town Center Park attracted more than 10,000 San Juan Capistrano residents to watch the annual Christmas tree lighting, as well as orchestral music from JSerra Catholic high School, colorful dances and seasonal skits. Saturday evening saw a break from the wet weather, and despite the soggy grounds, the traditional celebration went on.

“If there had been rain, we made contingency plans,” said Special Events Coordinator Heidi Ivanoff. “We made plans to have canopies for rain or shine, but lucky for us, it didn’t rain and we were able to have our San Juan Christmas.”

Santa and city officials began the lighting countdown at about 6 p.m. after the evening’s entertainment concluded to light the 40-foot tall Deodor Cedar tree.

“Our tree lighting ceremony has taken place at different venues around the city,” said Ivanoff. “Over the past five years, our audience has grown from a few thousand to around 10,000.”

Following the tree lighting, crowds immediately migrated toward free cookies, pictures with Santa and free train rides off Verdugo Street. Children scampered to wait in line and cheered for a picture with Santa Claus.

Orchestral quartets as well as carolers set up alongside street corners to play and sing seasonal tunes while shops remained open for business for the evening. The mildly temperate evening saw no rain but a lot of residents enjoying the holiday spirit.