Albemarle High School - Performing Arts

Performing Arts

The Albemarle Players are directed by Ms. Fay E. Cunningham. Each year they prepare a show for VTA (Virginia Theater Association), to hopefully move on and compete at SETC (South Eastern Theater Conference) to represent the state of Virginia. In 2006, the players won first place at VTA with the show Black Comedy, and moved on to perform at SETC in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2010, the players won first place at VTA with the show Man of La Mancha, and will perform at SETC in Atlanta, Georgia in March 2011. After VTA, the players prepare a show for VHSL and compete there as well. They were titled VHSL State Champions in 2010 with the show The Zoo Story. Every spring they put on a musical, and while each year the musicals are more and more taxing, they represent the extreme talent of the students and director. Past musicals include Les Misérables in 2008, West Side Story in 2009, and Disney's Beauty and the Beast in 2010. The 2011 musical will be Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. In 2010, the Albemarle Players were one of 50 high schools nationwide invited to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, commonly accepted as the world's largest arts festival.

The forensics team is an important part of performing arts at AHS. Each year a team of students is created representing each category. The forensics team travels to VHSL each year and competes to hopefully move on to states. The Albemarle Forensics team has won the District Forensics Tournament for the past decade, and the Regional Tournament for the past 9 years. However, in the 2011 Regional Tournament they were overcome by Osbourn Park Senior High School, who later went on to win the VHSL State Tournament. In March 2012, the forensics team took home their first state championship trophy.

The various bands (a Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and an award-winning Wind Ensemble and jazz band) are conducted by Mr. Greg Thomas. Each year, the Wind Ensemble prepares a demanding repertoire in preparation for a performance at the All-District Festival, usually held in March. In 2008, the players were awarded a "1" or a "Superior" rating with a repertoire consisting of Grade 6 pieces Mannin Veen, Divertimento, and the Grade 5 March Lucky Two and also achieved perfect individual category scores for the first time in its history. In 2009, they achieved this perfect score for the second year in a row with a repertoire of Frank Ticheli's Blue Shades, Ron Nelson's Rocky Point Holiday, and the popular circus march Thunder and Blazes, arranged by Louis-Phillipe Laurendeau. Ever since, they have continued this winning tradition, continuously getting 1's.

The Albemarle Jazz Ensemble has also seen great success in recent years, as they have advanced to finals in the Chantilly Jazz Festival every year since 2004, and have won 1st place for the past three years consecutively (2008–2010). Their 2010 performance pieces included Bill Holman's arrangement of After You've Gone, Alan Baylock's arrangement of Caravan, and Pat Metheny's Have You Heard.

Mrs. Carrie Finnegan directs the school's two orchestras. At the District XIII Orchestra Festival, the two orchestras also consistently receive a "1". In 2009, they traveled to VA Beach to compete in the Fiesta-Val Music Invitational Competition. This is a national competition for both instrumental and choral groups. The Albemarle, Jouett, Sutherland Combined Concert Orchestra received a Superior Rating and 1st Place in division IV. The Albemarle High String Ensemble received a Superior Rating and 1st Place in division VI. The Orchestras also received the Fiesta-Val Champion Trophy, awarded for the highest numerical score among all orchestras, regardless of division. The Orchestras, as a group, were also awarded the prestigious Grand Champion Trophy, awarded for the highest total numerical score by combining scores from two different performing groups. In addition to being presented the Grand Championship Trophy, the director of the winning group received the Fiesta-Val Award of Distinction in recognition of a notable contribution to musical excellence.

The Albemarle Chorus department, directed by Jennifer Morris, have consistently performed well. Boasting eight choirs and almost 200 members, the program performs throughout the community, state and nationally. The Patriot Singers have consistently received 1's at the annual District Assessment. Take Note! Treble Jazz has been selected to sing at such venues as the President's Park in Washington D.C.and with renowned musician Jim Brickman. No Fella A Cappella and Minutemen, both student-run a cappella groups, perform throughout the year, including performances with the Yale Spizzwinks and Virginia Belles. All groups perform in spring competitions throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. They consistently receive superior ratings and have been awarded the Grand Championship for 17 of the last 16 years.

The Performing Arts program at Albemarle High School Music Department has been awarded the Blue Ribbon award by Virginia Music Educators Association for seven times since the award's inception.

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