By Evelyn Madill
If you’ve ever been run over by someone with a drum strapped to their front as you’re trying to leave at the end of the day or been called down from the office to move your car from the parking lot, you’ve witnessed the beginning of a rehearsal of marching band. The West Jessamine Marching Colts is a group of kids dedicated to making music and putting on a show. Their show this year is called “Over the Horizon” and tells of an ocean voyage, featuring snippets from Dvorak’s New World Symphony. The director, Patrick VanArsdale, is looking forward to “being the best that we can be and continuing our improvements in placings at the State contest. We’d like to stay in the Top Ten again, but we’re definitely shooting for top 8 this year, and we’ve got some tough competition.”
What is it that makes students want to spend their last three weeks of summer and upwards of 12-15 hours a week once school starts sweating on the blacktop, carrying instruments that can weigh anywhere from one pound (a flute) to 45 pounds (tenor drums or quads)? For some, it’s the bus rides to and from competitions, although some like the actual competitions the best. Mr. VanArsdale’s favorite memories of when he was a marcher are “just playing an instrument. Being with my friends and making good memories…I can’t really remember actually marching, I just remember the good times that we had, hanging out with friends and having a good time at football games and any trips we took.”
While band may seem like just a bunch of crazy geeks who spend way too much time together, it’s so much more than that. It’s a home to kids who would otherwise be eating lunch at a table alone. It’s a place where students can be themselves and express their creativity in a way no other activity offers. It’s a place where memories and friendships that will last a lifetime are made.
By Evelyn Madill
William D. Hutcherson
Local artists and craftsmen are often overlooked and underappreciated, especially by their community. The purpose of these articles is to shed some light on the local flavor that Jessamine and Fayette counties have to offer. This month, we take a look at author/filmmaker Stephen Zimmer. I’ve known Stephen for a little over six years now, and he is one of the most interesting individuals I’ve ever come across. From a young age, he enjoyed reading and writing, a love instilled in him through his parents. Stephen’s father would improvise stories, making up fantastic tales off the top of his head, and his mother read to him classic fantasy such as the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, and the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, two authors who later would be counted among his major inspirations. Stephen knew he wished to walk the path of a storyteller in his late high school years. In 2008, he published a book called The Exodus Gate, the first in what would become the Rising Dawn saga. A year later, he published the Crown of Vengeance, the first in the Fires of Eden saga. He continued to release two more novels in each of these series, as well as contributing work to several short story anthologies published by the same company as the two series, Seventh Star Press. In 2013, a convention that Stephen and many others envisioned and organized debuted in Louisville. The Imaginarium Convention was founded with the intention of drawing creative writers and independent filmmakers of all skill levels and giving them an affordable environment to experience the camaraderie and mentoring that he believes is so important to becoming the best author or best filmmaker you can be. In 2014, however, a health scare after enduring much personal tragedy in his life that put his writing on hold influenced him to begin the journey to return to physical fitness through martial arts and intense physical training. During this, he was able to return to his writing, and begin the journey of his most important character. Heart of a Lion, released in February of 2015 as the first in the Dark Sun Dawn trilogy, returned to the tale of a character that previously appeared in his short story, All the Lands and Nowhere A Home. This character, Rayden Valkyrie, is what drove him through that dark period, ‘onward and upward’ as he likes to say, and now is beginning pre-production on a television pilot based on Rayden’s adventures. If you are interested in finding more about Stephen’s work, find him on Twitter and Facebook. For more information on Imaginarium go to http://www.entertheimaginarium.com/.
By Abigail Gooch
“I’m excited to be here and I’m excited to see what you all make this year,” she said. I would like to introduce you all to West Jessamine High School’s new art teacher, Ms.Crist. If you think you recognize her last name from somewhere, you’re absolutely right. Mrs. Crist is the West Jessamine Middle School’s health teacher, she is also the mother to our Ms. Crist’s – looks like teaching runs in the family. When I checked my schedule for the year, I saw Ms. Crist was teaching art and I thought into why the middle school health teacher was teaching art, only to realize it is her artistic daughter.
I have to say, Ms.Crist has an immense amount of talent. If you would like to see some of her artwork stop by the art room sometime! She is an incredibly friendly person and I’m sure she would love to meet new students and introduce any of you to the creative world of art. She says, “I think we have a great group of students and they’re wonderful to work with.”
Here’s a fun fact about our high school’s new art teacher: did you know that she has traveled to four different continents? She is up for quite an adventure, as she has traveled to Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Ms. Crist says that during her time traveling around the world she picked up several different styles of art and was able to try many new things. She says, “I think it’s important to try as many styles of art as you can. Helps to figure out which ones you like best.” Even if you feel that you’re best at one art style, try more! Widen your variety of art styles, you may find a new one that piques your interest.
Ms.Crist mentioned one new art project she would like to try with her students this year is ceramics. This should be a good, new, project for the art students of WJHS to explore. Ms.Crist is raving about her first year here at West as our art teacher. I can’t wait to see how the year pans out for her. Welcome to West Jessamine High School, Ms. Crist!
The West Jessamine High School stop motion action film club Moving Pictures entered and won the high school division of the High Bridge Film Festival for their short film Feast Friends.
Feast Friends centers around a man, alone on Thanksgiving, who realizes the true meaning of Thanksgiving. The members of Moving Pictures wrote, shot and edited the whole film by themselves. Sophomore Kaitlyn Kearns did the storyboarding, some members acted in the film and others helped move the props to make the over 2,000 photos appear seamless.
Juniors Nicole Fielder and Jesse Seales founded Moving Pictures last August with art teacher Mr. Stein as faculty adviser. “I wanted to see people’s interest in film develop,” Seales says. “I want to see the club grow [next school year] and for other people to have great ideas and direct their own films.”
Moving Pictures hopes to enter the 2015 High Bridge Film Festival next spring.
On May 29, the West Jessamine band, choir and visual arts programs will come together for a spectacular performance. As the visual arts department is creating pictures and paintings to display during the event, the band and choir are preparing to perform. This will be the first time that these programs team up. Come and support your arts programs!
Ashlee Rose In the new movie “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, Captain America (Chris Evans) is faced with a new enemy: the Winter Soldier. With the help of the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and the newcomer, Falcon (Anthony Mackie), he must fight to find out the truth before he is found and killed. The filmmakers made the movie feel “connected to the universe.” The film itself is unpredictable the whole time, with plot twists and turns throughout. Despite all the fighting, some of the best scenes of the movies are the quieter, more emotional moments. According to Horizon Review, the movie is “one of the most spectacular films in the Marvel universe.” This movie makes the audience think and keeps them suspenseful and unknowing of what comes next. Captain America brought in $41.4 million in only its second weekend, putting it above Rio, Oculus, Draft Day and Divergent.
There is a unique sound to the state. It is embedded in the hills, the valleys and the history of the commonwealth.
Bluegrass music: what do you think of it?
Unfortunately, this dying genre of music is all too often cast into a stereotype of “hillbilly” music. Now-a-days, it is almost outrageous the notion of someone our age listening to, and enjoying, bluegrass music. It is too “old-time,” it is too “country”… Yet there is so much more to this genre than meets the ear.
Bluegrass music was popularized by Kentucky’s own Bill Monroe (“The Father of Bluegrass”). In the early 1950s, Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys began to play this “new” style of music on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn., and soon after, the genre attracted a diverse following throughout the country.
Though Monroe first broke this style of music out of its long-time shell of isolation in Appalachia, the style can trace its roots back to the Civil War and beyond. The style was a conglomerate of several influences brought forth by early settlers of the upper south and the Ohio valley. Still today, bluegrass music has a very Irish-sound, though it is also incorporated with a southern-gospel and Negro spiritual sound; Monroe characterized it as “Scottish bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin’. It’s Methodist and Baptist. It’s blues and jazz, and it has a high lonesome sound.”
Soon after its propagation into the Opry music scene of the 1950s, artists such as Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, the Stanley Brothers, the Osborne Brothers and Jessamine County’s very own J.D. Crowe began to break off and mix in their own sound. Today, contemporary bluegrass artists such as Allison Krauss and Ricky Skaggs still produce music and carry on the age-old tradition.
Though you may think of just a “dumb hillbilly” pickin’ away at this style, there proves to be a lot more depth and complexity to the style. The main instruments -banjo, guitar, flat-steel guitar, upright bass, mandolin, fiddle – are all extremely challenging instruments to master. The upbeat and quick timing, characteristic to the genre, can exemplify the extreme talent one must possess to play this type of music.
So why not give it a try? You never know what you might enjoy listening to. Take to Youtube, look up some the bluegrass pioneers: Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, the Stanley Brothers, or even more contemporary artists Ricky Skaggs or Allison Krauss. Listening to this beautiful, upbeat music will not be met with disappointment. There is much more substance to it than what the teen generation listens to today. The instrumentation is not a simple computer-generated beat (rap music) nor is it perfectly engineered to maximize your listening experience. The beauty of bluegrass lies in its raw, pure nature. What you hear is what you would hear if you heard it live. Furthermore, bluegrass that isn’t simply instrumental carries a lot more meaning in its lyrics than does, for example, rap music. It tells a story; it is an anthology of the history of Appalachia.
I believe it is our duty as Kentuckians to be informed on such a pure and native music. It is scary to see the rate at which such a long tradition is declining and the ignorance people have towards the genre.
Take it from Allison Krauss: “You know, for most of its life, bluegrass has had this stigma of being all straw hats and hay bales and not necessarily the most sophisticated form of music. Yet you can’t help responding to its honesty. It’s music that finds its way deep into your soul because it’s strings vibrating against wood and nothing else.”
We all have hobbies and interests, and for sophomore Emmaline Adams, her fervor is music—percussion, more specifically. She has played percussion since sixth grade, so when her music instructor suggested auditioning for a music summer camp at Interlochen Arts Academy, she thought, why not? The music Arts Academy is for grades 3-12, and only 2500 people in the entire country attend the seven-week camp. Singer Josh Groban attended as a child, if that gives you a better idea of the program’s caliber.
After months of practicing and perfecting her audition tapes, Emmaline was more than relieved when she found out that she was accepted—in fact, she recalls squealing after receiving the news as she transitioned from her first block class.
Of course, West Jessamine is proud to be represented for the very first time at such a prestigious camp. It’s also very expensive, so if you want to lend a helping hand, go to http://www.gofundme.com/interlochen2014 to donate.
“I want this to encourage others to join band,” Adams says. “If I can do this, so can others!”
No matter what gender you are, Disney movies appeal to everyone. Frozen, Walt Disney’s latest release, has been trending on social media and has recently been released on DVD. This extravagant musical animation is summed up by the word awesome!
Anna (Kristen Bell), the main character, must team up with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), a daring mountain man, to go on quest to find the ice queen (Idina Menzel) and put an end to the icy madness. On their journey, they encounter many magical creatures. Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction.
I recommend this animation for people of all ages and genders. Although this movie was created for children, I caught myself laughing as well as crying in many scenes. It was an overall feel good happy movie that will bring a smile to anyone’s face.
On Feb. 10, the world lost one of the most beloved child actors of all time. Singer and performer Shirley Temple died of natural causes at the age of 85. As an aspiring actress and singer myself, I’m sad to see this iconic light go out. As a tribute to the 1930’s own Curly Top, I’m here to share with you her life.
Shirley Temple was born to Gertrude Amelia Temple and George Francis Temple in late April of 1928 in Santa Monica, Calif. The Temples always saw their little girl as a star. In Sept. 1931, Gertrude sent her talented daughter off to Meglin’s Dance School in Los Angeles where Charles Lamont, the casting director for Educational Pictures, found her. Impressed by Temple’s talent, Lamont tried to get the young Miss Temple to audition. In 1932, Shirley Temple was signed to Lamont’s company. Temple’s first feature film was Red-Haired Alibi (1932), but it was still a small role.
In 1933, Temple was cast in bit parts with major companies like Paramount, Universal and Warner Bros. Pictures. Educational Pictures declared bankrupt in ’33, so Temple signed on with Fox Film Corporation in 1934. Stand Up and Cheer! was Temple’s breakthrough film, and her charm got her promoted months before she was introduced to the world. She and her mother received considerable pay raises, and Temple was loaned to Paramount for Little Miss Marker.
Bright Eyes was released in December of 1934, and it was the first film written specifically for Shirley Temple. Temple’s song “On the Good Ship Lollipop” sold over 500,000 sheet music copies. Soon after Bright Eyes, Temple was awarded the first Juvenile Oscar for her work at Fox, and she later added her hand- and footprints to the walk at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
From 1934 through 1939, Shirley Temple lit up the silver screen, bringing joy to the hearts of many. In 1939, Temple was offered a role in MGM’s classic The Wizard of Oz, which her manager declined. The role was given to the charming and charismatic Judy Garland instead.
After a short decline in the early ‘40s, Temple retired so she could focus on school and her home life. In 1945, a 17-year-old Shirley Temple married her first husband, John Agar, an Army Air Corps sergeant. Not even a half-year later, Temple gave birth to her first child, Linda Susan. Temple and Agar flirted with acting a bit before splitting in 1950.
Temple didn’t wait long to move on from Agar. Eleven days after their divorce, she was married to Charles Alden Black, a WWII Navy officer and Silver Star recipient. The couple relocated to Washington D.C. when Black was recalled for the Korean War. Their son Charles Alden Black, Jr. was born in 1952 followed by his younger sister Lori two years later.
Life after Hollywood was focused mainly on politics. In the ‘70s, Temple Black unsuccessfully ran for office in California, only to be appointed United States Ambassador to Ghana in December of 1974. Temple Black was also put in charge of arranging President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration and inaugural ball, as she had been appointed the first female Chief of Protocol of the United States in 1976.
In 1973, Temple Black was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had the tumor removed with a radical mastectomy and was known as one of the first advocates of female strength and will when coping with cancer.
Shirley Temple Black died late at night on Feb. 10, 2014 in her home in Woodside, Calif., surrounded by her three children, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. She died of natural causes and fell asleep at peace.
Caption: “Photo: Dispatch.com”