Dec 2022 - Performing Arts Dept
The GHS Performing Arts Department has a celebrated history with its roots in 1920-1921 with the first drama performance, the first instrumental music group, and the first dance group. Quickly, the programs blossomed, winning county, state, and national recognition and enriching the lives of Foothillers and their community and becoming the cultural hub of East County.
Today, GHS has its amazing 2020 Performing Arts Center which fosters these programs. Such a facility was only a dream for the school’s first 99 years.
Teacher Marta Jiacoletti has built a vibrant program at GHS with classes in Beginning, Intermediate, and Advance Dance with a class size of 35-50 students in each class. Classes cover technical skills and dances in Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Hip Hop, and cultural dances. Students also learn the fundamental elements of choreography.
This semester’s performances included the Halftime Skit at the Homecoming football game and the October concert in the Main Theatre—“Be Brave & Amazed”.
The first spring semester concerts will be February 7,8, 9 at 6 pm in the Black Box, focusing on historical and social issues celebrating Black History and the artistic influences from the past.
The last concert is May 10 and 11 at 6 pm. in the Main Theatre, featuring original choreography from the Senior Class of 2023. The May concerts also feature site-specific works done outside in locations across the campus. The audience will travel with the dancers to watch the performances. This will be a "first" for the GHS Dance Department!”
Teacher Amity Ecker, proudly states that this year, “We have Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, Honors Conservatory, and Technical Theatre programs and serve nearly 200 students.
Our curriculum is based on the California State and National Common Core Standards. We include scene study, script analysis and performance, technical theatre safety, stage combat, make-up design, theatre history, children's theatre, pantomime, playwriting, devised theatre, theories of theatre, paint and color theory and practice, set design, lighting design and operation, voice and movement, theatre history, property design and construction, stage management, sound design and operation, and many more related topics.”
Fall Show: The Election: Nov 3-5 and 10-12 (sold out run)
Spring Musical: Newsies March 9-11 and 16-18
Student Directed One Act Showcase: May 24 & 25th
Get your tickets early! Every performance sells out. For more information about the program, visit their website at https://www.ghsfoothillerplayers.com.
Veteran teacher and alumnus Jeremy Cooke shares, “The guitar classes teach all levels and styles of guitar with 80 students enrolled. A large focus of the class is to expose students to the most important artists who have come before them. We begin the year listening to The Carter Family, Louis Jordan, Django Reinhardt, and Charley Patton. Next, we explore early rock n roll (Chuck Berry, Elvis, etc.), and progress through Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Buck Owens, The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Freddie King, CCR, Jimi Hendrix, and James Taylor, to name a few.
Along the way, students learn to play songs by many of these performers. In addition to the modern styles of guitar, they also learn classical pieces, iconic folk songs, and Irish fiddle tunes. Students perform in class multiple times a month, which helps them to acclimate to performing in front of an audience.
The progress that they make over the course of a year is always a pleasure to watch. This is my 17th year teaching guitar at Grossmont, a class that I was once enrolled in back in 1994. I am honored to be able to expose students to something that has been so important in my life as a musician.”
Teacher James Villegas proudly shares that “Grossmont has a percussion ensemble, a color guard, a beginning orchestra, advanced orchestra, beginning band, a concert band, a wind ensemble, our fledgling philharmonic orchestra and jazz band, and, of course, the Royal Blue Regiment marching band. In all we have just over 100 students participating, most participating in more than one ensemble.
“This has been an amazing school year! The orchestra performed a special Halloween concert at Parkway Academy and their second lunchtime concert in front of the GHS library on November 10th, featuring patriotic music to commemorate Veterans Day.
The Royal Blue Regiment brought home three out of three first place trophies for our division this fall and headed to regional championships on November 12th. We are third in Southern California and consistently first in the percussion and musical performance categories, truly a triumph and a great comeback after the past couple of years!
On November 12th, the Royal Blue Regiment completed their competition season at the California State Band Championships, Division 1A, with a 3rd place overall and received the High Music Award. High Music is awarded to the best sounding and most musically proficient band in the competition of 16 division 1A bands.
We are looking forward to performing for the NJROTC inspection in December, our band and orchestra concert on December 15 in the GHS theater, and the San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade on December 28.
Drum Major Enrique Wilcox and our student leaders have organized many events on their own, making connections with water polo, volleyball, powderpuff, choir, cheer, ASB and basketball. Even our school mascot Gus has joined the band as a cast member in our 2022 show, “Find Yourself”. Without their energy and love of music, rebuilding our Foothiller legacy would be impossible.”
Teacher Grace Morrison proudly proclaims, “We have three performing choirs at GHS: Chamber Singers, Bella Voce, and Foothiller Choir. Our enrollment is the highest it’s been since pre-COVID days.
Our recent Fall Concert was the best performance we’ve had in years. At the Invitational ACDA(American Choral Directors Association) Festival at PLNU, the clinician commented that Chamber Singers and Bella Voce were the highest performing ensemble in attendance.
Some of our future concerts include the Winter Concert on December 6th, Christmas Caroling in Julian, and the District Office Holiday Party. This year’s annual trip to Europe is a tour of Greece in February.”
Today’s GHS Performing Arts Department has an immeasurable impact on the students, providing culture, pride, and connections so essential to their quality of life. To learn more about these amazing programs, please visit their website at https://www.ghsperformingarts.com.
For information about Foothiller history and the GHS Museum, email Connie and Lynn at