Each year, every Birches student participates in a school-wide musical performance under the inspired direction of our Music and Drama Specialist, Laura Bak. The school has roughly 2 months to prepare, mostly on Fridays during music class plus a few days of rehearsals the week of the musical. Laura finds roles for the entire school with older students taking on more speaking roles, learning how to present, project (and act!). Younger students often perform whole group numbers but also learn a lot about singing, stage presence, drama through the process.
In 2017, the school put on a production of Geology Rocks! In this clever performance, Professor Rock, a notable geology expert goes missing. His students, with the help of the illustrious Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, travel through time (geologic time that is) to try and get him back. Along the way they learn about rocks, layers of the earth, erosion and much more! The whole school participated, all the way from the kindergarten and first grade dinosaurs up to the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders who took on big speaking and singing roles and executed flawlessly!
In 2016, our musical was 13 Colonies in honor of our study of American History. This lively musical took us back in time all the way to the "discovery" of America by Leif Erickson (and his band of kindergarten vikings!). Each song taught the audience a bit more about America from the history of Native Americans, through the Revolutionary War, and the founding of the United States. All along the "History Police" kept an eye on things to make sure the story was being told accurately! It was a hilarious and entertaining, not to mention spectacularly produced and executed!
In 2015, the Birches students participated in a rousing production of Tikki Tikki Tembo . This musical play is loosely based on an Asian folktale that explains why Chinese people have short names. After only a month of rehearsals in their separate music classes, all the children came together to rehearse on the auditorium stage. Students and teachers had collaborated on creating props--a well and a tree. Then the children presented a polished production to a packed house of family and friends, speaking and singing with gusto. Some of the students had never been on a stage before, but they rose to the occasion with excitement and professionalism. What a treat for all of us!