For the sixth time and the fifth year in a row, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation has awarded the Newtown Public Schools for its “outstanding commitment to music education” with its Best Communities for Music Education designation.
Local Odyssey of the Mind teams participated in the state level of the competition on Saturday, March 29, in Bristol. Some local teams are now busy fundraising to cover the expected costs of attending the upcoming world finals. A number of teams took the time this week, however, to reflect with The Bee on the Connecticut Odyssey of the Mind. Odyssey of the Mind is the largest intellectual competition in the world. Teams of up to seven students select and solve one of five long-term problems that they present at the annual state competitions. The top 30 teams in each competing state then head to World Finals, where teams from more than 30 countries come together in the spirit of international competition. This year’s Odyssey of the Mind World Finals will be held at the end of May in Ames, Iowa.
The Newtown Middle School Jazz Band traveled to New Hampshire on Friday, March 7, to participate in the University of New Hampshire’s Clark Terry Jazz Festival with the Newtown High School Gold and Blue Jazz Bands, kicking off a busy month for jazz students at the middle school.
This was the third year the middle school Jazz Band participated in the festival, and the Blue Band and Gold Band participated in the festival for the second time this year.
The Clark Terry University of New Hampshire Jazz Festival includes high school bands, middle school bands, jazz combos, jazz choirs, as well as solo vocalists, according to the University of New Hampshire.
Newtown Middle School students had the opportunity last month to attempt to stick technology education teacher Don Ramsey to the wall with duct tape during lunch waves, as part of a fundraiser by the school’s Interact Club for Pennies for Patients.
On March 21, students and teachers had the option of paying $1 for a strip of duct tape to be used to attach Mr Ramsey to the wall. The “Stuck For A Buck Day” was part of the annual Pennies for Patients drive to support research by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the brainchild of NMS Interact Club and its advisor, Bruce Moulthrop.
Newtown Middle School fourth rotation architectural models and other projects were on display for a Wednesday, April 2, technology education exhibition.
The event opened up the technology education room for parents and family members of students with projects on display to visit.
NMS technology education teacher Don Ramsey said he invites students to specifically bring younger siblings to the middle school for the exhibition events to give the younger students an idea of what they will be working on at the middle school.
After a multiyear hiatus from competition, the Newtown High School Winter Percussion reemerged this year and scored an impressive 90.1 at last Saturday’s Musical Arts Conference (MAC) Championships held at Stamford’s Westhill High School to take fourth place in a field of seven of the best Percussion Marching A ensembles in the tri-state area.
Considered by the judges to be the most improved ensemble of the season, they complimented the 27 members on their professionalism and performance as they missed the bronze medal by just .35 point, an accomplishment almost unheard of for a first-year group.
Newtown performed a show titled “Stress,” written specifically for Newtown Winter Percussion by one of its instructors, David Brush. Mr Brush and Richard Lake were co-directors of the ensemble. Other instructors included Steve Surina, Tom Sulzicki, and Alan Amendola.
For the first time since being moved up to the Scholastic Open class level from National Scholastic A, the Newtown High School Varsity Winter Guard tossed, spun and danced their way into the semifinals of the Winter Guard International (WGI) World Championships held over a three-day competition in Dayton, Ohio, last week.
The 16-member Varsity team departed just after midnight on Wednesday, April 2, for the WGI championships.
More than 400 guard teams in the Scholastic and Independent “A,” Open and World classes from nine countries — including Denmark, Italy, France, and Thailand — traveled to Ohio to compete.
As the dates for multiple trips through the Newtown International Center for Education (NICE) program approach, both Newtown High School students and NICE program instructors are preparing.
Students and teachers will be traveling to China, Spain, and France during the school’s break in April. The group going to China will be traveling April 10 to April 21, the group traveling to Spain, April 8 to 19, and the group going to France will be traveling April 8 to 16.
Newtown families are being recruited to host 34 Chinese students, ages 13-18, from July 24 to August 12, through the Education First (EF) Educational Homestay Programs.“It really is a life-changing experience with a very small investment of time,” said Newtown resident Lynn Hungaski, who is overseeing recruiting families around the Newtown area to host the Chinese students who will visit America to study English as a second language this summer and is an English teacher for the program. “The commitment in hosting is really providing a loving home, a warm heart, three meals a day, and transportation to and from school, which will be held at Edmond Town Hall.”