Staff and students at Loch Raven Technical Academy planned to hold their Black History Month Assembly at the usual time – during February, Black History Month. But snow fell, and the event was postponed. Then it snowed on the new show date, and the event was postponed once again.
Finally, on April 8, 2005 – with leaves budding and flowers blooming outside – students and teachers presented a multimedia program that was worth the wait. During three 90-minute performances, students of various ethnic backgrounds used narrative, instrumental music, choral music, dance, and visual art to transport audiences through time from the 1700s to the present. The combined audience for the three performances exceeded 1,200 students, faculty, and parents.
April Franklin, Loch Raven’s English chair, and Ann Prizzi, coordinator of the school’s performing arts magnet, wrote the program, borrowed period costumes from Toby’s Dinner Theatre, and coordinated the talents of approximately 100 students and many teachers to highlight the contributions and influences of African Americans.
“Through its multimedia approach, the program allowed students to integrate what they have learned in their various classes,” notes Beth Bugnaski, Loch Raven’s library media specialist. “It also was an opportunity for some students who may not always shine academically to have their time in the spotlight and be a part of sharing important information and ideas with their fellow students.”
“The program was really enriching for everyone,” adds teacher mentor Cheryl Foreman. “Students in the show got a real taste of how difficult it is to be a professional performer, and students in the audience learned more about the time periods they study in social studies and English classes. Many adults learned new things, too. Art teacher Kathy Chenowith put together a PowerPoint presentation, displayed on two screens throughout the performance, featuring pieces of African American artwork that many of us had never seen before.”
| Maria S.
Story by Diana Spencer, Communications Officer