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Kuemmel's Corner: Park filled with talented fine arts students

Last week I had the chance to witness the talented students we have in the fine arts.

Our One-Act Play competed in the section finals and had to compete against some very talented schools. This year the directors picked the play “The Curate Shakespeare As You Like It.” The cast and crew did a great job. The play is a comical look at a “rag-tag” professional acting company’s brave attempt to leave personal problems behind and mount a performance of perhaps one of Shakespeare’s finest comedies. This year’s play took second place in the section competition. Last year’s play took first place, and went on to compete in the state festival. Antigone was one of four plays to receive a “starred performance” (or highest) rating at the festival. Our One-Act Play has gone to state in nine out of the last 18 years. They have earned a “starred” rating in eight of those years. Our directors, Denise Atkinson and Steve Estenson, do a tremendous job every year.

I also got to listen to our band, choir, and orchestra students perform in the Suburban East Conference Music Festival at Forest Lake High School. Park will have the opportunity to host this all-day event in two years. The Music Festival is comprised of two parts: the day-time performances and the evening Grand Finale Concert. Day concerts are presented by the individual SEC schools’ bands, choirs, and orchestras. The second and concluding portion of the Festival is the Grand Finale Concert. It is comprised of the three SEC All-Conference performing ensembles under the direction of local and national clinicians. The All-Conference Orchestra, Band, and Choir are selected by the directors to represent the finest music students in the ten conference schools. This recognition is similar to the all-conference honors bestowed on our athletes.

Congratulations to the Park students who were selected for this honor and participated in the traditional finale for the concert: A joint performance featuring all three groups in a dramatic arrangement of “America the Beautiful.”

I continue to be amazed at the talented students we have here at Park — in the classroom, in athletics, and in our fine arts and activities.

-Phil Kuemmel, Park Activities Director