Fine Arts Department

By Christine Coddington, communication specialist

2023 performance of Messiah

Teachers Maria Lorcas, Nick Gardner, and Jared Stutzman have built on the program crafted by previous music directors. The school’s leadership strategically prioritized these programs, ensuring that every middle school student has daily, year-round engagement with music.

Many students take string classes at EMS in grades 6-12, and some also participate in string ensembles and full orchestra. Ms. Lorcas and Mr. Gardner introduce all 6th grade students to an instrument at the start of the school year. This daily learning sets the stage for an impressive Christmas concert where students showcase their progress with only three months of solid practice.

Singers from EMS touring choir, concert choir, and middle school choral united to perform selections from Handel’s Messiah in November (pictured above). Jared Stutzman orchestrated this masterpiece, beautifully bringing together voices and an instrumental ensemble.

The collaborative efforts of directors, faculty, and students have yielded triumphs in concerts and productions. As the anticipation builds for the upcoming production of Fiddler on the Roof, March 1-3, it reflects the continued vibrancy of the fine arts community at EMS. Mark your calendars for a weekend filled with theatrical brilliance!

11 Musicians Triumph in District Honor Band Auditions

The annual District Honor Band auditions showcase the musical talent of middle and high school students. Students from 20 middle schools and 19 high schools participated this year, with Eastern Mennonite School sending 13 musicians. Remarkably, 11 students secured a seat in the honor band, with eight earning 1st or 2nd chair positions. Their dedication and achievements highlight the school’s commitment to musical excellence. EMS’s band teacher, Nick Gardner, initiated a unique challenge last year: he offered to partially shave his beard for every student excelling in district honor band auditions. Gardner might need to sharpen his razor, anticipating continued success in the years ahead. To see the full list of students, visit us online, and click news.

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