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Arts

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Posted Thursday, Mar 26, 2015 

Come to the Edible Book Festival at the Espinosa Library next week! After school on Monday, March 30 (3:30-6:00pm), the whole Castilleja community is invited to drop by for literary games, treats, and the Edible Book Festival Competition. Everyone is invited to submit a creation made out of food and inspired by a book; everyone who comes to the event can vote on and then sample the delicious creations. See the library website for more information on the Festival and the We Won't Stop Club's book-inspired food drive. Don't delay -- RSVP to Castilleja.org/edible today!

Posted Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015 

Last week Castilleja was honored to have the Real Vocal String Quartet (RVSQ) do a three-day residency at Castilleja. RVSQ’s surprisingly broad repertoire embraces the diverse influences of all four players, from classical, jazz, and rock, to songs and styles from West Africa, Brazil, and rural America. Yet while four distinct voices can be heard, in seven years of performing together the Quartet has achieved a true group sound.

While on campus the Bay Area quartet collaborated with students in arts classes on a wide variety of tunes and techniques. Students worked on improvisation and composition skills, and learned the key components of being a collaborative chamber musician.

One highlight included a workshop with the Upper School Choir on Regina Spektor's haunting tune Machine, which the group will sing at the upcoming Spring Concert. RVSQ also performed for all the 6th and 7th grade music classes, and worked on musical improv games with the students in smaller groups: the students had to create compositions on the spot, something RVSQ calls a "Now." This was so popular with the Middle Schoolers that they are continuing to create and perform their own "Nows" at the beginning of each class! As a grand finale, RVSQ treated Castilleja to a mini-concert Wednesday afternoon, which met with a standing ovation from students and adults alike.

Stay tuned (pun intended!) for details on the Spring Concert (May 21) and future opportunities to see students showcase what they learned from these master musicians!

Posted Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 

This weekend, fifteen Upper School students traveled to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland to take part in acting and design workshops as well as to see three incredible productions: Much Ado About Nothing, Pericles, and Guys and Dolls. Not only had some girls been in Ms. Walter's Middle School production of Guys and Dolls, but many had studied Much Ado About Nothing in Theatre with Mr. Mead! Imagine everyone's surprise to also discover that Guys and Dolls was directed by none other than Mary Zimmerman, a playwright and the director of Metamorphoses, which 9th graders study in Core Arts! Check out the image in the scrolling media banner -- the students are working on Friday morning with Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor David Thompson on language and poetry.

Posted Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 

Congratulations to AP Photography student Anahita A. '15, who won a silver medal for Photography in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards with her photo "Hospital." Over 255,000 students compete in 28 categories, and 2,000 are selected nationwide for medals. This represents less than 1% of the student works submitted. Judges select works that "best exemplify originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision." Congratulations Ana!

Posted Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 

For the Juniors’ interdisciplinary English, US history, and art project, students visited Stanford’s Anderson Collection on March 13. The students observed and reflected on a particular artwork, and will now craft a creative response to that artwork. This project will culminate in a gallery show in which students will exhibit their creative responses to their assigned artists. In preparation for their visit and creative work, the students first attended a lecture given by Castilleja faculty member and Seipp Gallery Curator Deborah Trilling on the origins of Bay Area Figurative Art and the Anderson Collection. Several former Castilleja parents and a former teacher, Judy Rino, served as docent consultants during the special visit.

Posted Monday, Mar 16, 2015 

Today at break students were treated to a special performance by Yale's premier a Cappella group, Something Extra. Established in 1977, the all-female group flew across the country to enjoy a spring tour in San Francisco. According to their website, "Something Extra's powerful soloists, polished harmonies, and irresistible charm distinguish it as Yale University's premiere all-women's A Cappella group. Something Extra performs a dynamic repertoire of pop, jazz, indie rock, folk, and spirituals. The group has toured throughout North America, Europe, and the Caribbean, performing at venues from the White House and U.S. embassies to the set of "Jeopardy!" With a 37-year legacy of exciting music and lasting friendships, Something Extra is proud to maintain a tradition of musical excellence, community, and adventure."

Posted Monday, Mar 9, 2015 

It would be truly criminal to miss this show! Kat P. '15's extraordinary production of Beth Henley's Crimes of the Heart inaugurates The Studio Theater this Friday night! This Pulitzer Prize-winning tragicomedy about love and sisterhood stars Allison Z. '16, Gabby O. '16, Jillian L. '16, Karly Q. '16, Kenzie M. '17, Meg J. '16, Sophie P. '16, Valerie H. '17, and Yasmine R. '17 and runs two hours with one intermission. Get your tickets for the Friday show at 7:30pm and Saturday shows at 2pm and 7:30pm here. See you at the show!

Posted Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 

Consider yourself invited to Oliver!, the Middle School Musical. Travel back to Dickensian London for the story of a poor workhouse boy and a gang of thieves, complete with robbery, trickery, song, dance, love, and murder! Performances are March 6 and 7 at 7:30pm and March 8 at 2:00pm. Tickets are available here. See you at the show!

Posted Monday, Feb 23, 2015 

By Rosie C. '16

After lugging an electric piano across the Circle and stuffing it into the trunk of a car, Music for the Community members Yael, Kaitlin, Hannah, and Rosie arrived at Stanford Mall. We set up in the Center Pavilion at the doorstep of Tiffany’s and across from Macy’s – quite a lucky location! At this performance, we collected donations for the Music in the Schools Foundation, which provides music education for under-resourced children in East Palo Alto.

We joined forces with Woodside Priory’s music club, so we had two times the musicians and two times the repertoire. The program began with a violin duet, and shifted back and forth between modern and classical pieces (including Frozen, Bruno Mars, and violin/flute duets). It was extremely gratifying to see every and all kinds of faces in the audience: older couples, moms with their children, and girls dancing around until they excitedly ran up and put their donations in our open violin cases. Seeing their smiles made the performance all the more worthwhile.

Since we've been blessed with a great musical education both outside and inside of school, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to the community and share our love of music with others who are less fortunate. After a jam-packed hour of singing and playing, we raised $234 for Music in the Schools Foundation!

Posted Tuesday, Feb 10, 2015 

Film 2 students were privileged to have a visit from Hollywood editor Don Stroud, who came to Castilleja to share some of his experiences cutting film and to demonstrate some tips he has learned along the way. Don had just come off of a two-week nighttime feature shoot in San Francisco, so he was quite frank (and hilarious) about the hard work which goes into making a movie. The students have just finished watching Stanley Kubrick's classic 2001: A Space Odyssey and now are writing Close Textual Analysis papers on a Kubrick film of their choice; as luck would have it, Don just finished editing Warner Brothers' official two-hour Kubrick documentary, which was shown this fall at the L.A. County Museum and is now being released with Warner's Blu-Ray set of all Kubrick's work. Continuing the tradition of this fall's "Talk with an Expert," students now have Don as a valuable resource to email about Kubrick, his directing, and his films!

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Student Life
Posted 03/26/2015 09:38AM

Come to the Edible Book Festival at the Espinosa Library next week! After school on Monday, March 30 (3:30-6:00pm), the whole Castilleja community is invited to drop by for literary games, treats, and the Edible Book Festival Competition. Everyone is invited to submit a creation made out of food and inspired by a book; everyone who comes to the event can vote on and then sample the delicious creations. See the library website for more information on the Festival and the We Won't Stop Club's book-inspired food drive. Don't delay -- RSVP to Castilleja.org/edible today!

Posted 03/25/2015 02:09PM

Last week Castilleja was honored to have the Real Vocal String Quartet (RVSQ) do a three-day residency at Castilleja. RVSQ’s surprisingly broad repertoire embraces the diverse influences of all four players, from classical, jazz, and rock, to songs and styles from West Africa, Brazil, and rural America. Yet while four distinct voices can be heard, in seven years of performing together the Quartet has achieved a true group sound.

While on campus the Bay Area quartet collaborated with students in arts classes on a wide variety of tunes and techniques. Students worked on improvisation and composition skills, and learned the key components of being a collaborative chamber musician.

One highlight included a workshop with the Upper School Choir on Regina Spektor's haunting tune Machine, which the group will sing at the upcoming Spring Concert. RVSQ also performed for all the 6th and 7th grade music classes, and worked on musical improv games with the students in smaller groups: the students had to create compositions on the spot, something RVSQ calls a "Now." This was so popular with the Middle Schoolers that they are continuing to create and perform their own "Nows" at the beginning of each class! As a grand finale, RVSQ treated Castilleja to a mini-concert Wednesday afternoon, which met with a standing ovation from students and adults alike.

Stay tuned (pun intended!) for details on the Spring Concert (May 21) and future opportunities to see students showcase what they learned from these master musicians!

Posted 03/24/2015 08:50AM

This weekend, fifteen Upper School students traveled to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland to take part in acting and design workshops as well as to see three incredible productions: Much Ado About Nothing, Pericles, and Guys and Dolls. Not only had some girls been in Ms. Walter's Middle School production of Guys and Dolls, but many had studied Much Ado About Nothing in Theatre with Mr. Mead! Imagine everyone's surprise to also discover that Guys and Dolls was directed by none other than Mary Zimmerman, a playwright and the director of Metamorphoses, which 9th graders study in Core Arts! Check out the image in the scrolling media banner -- the students are working on Friday morning with Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor David Thompson on language and poetry.

Posted 03/23/2015 12:30PM

Under the leadership of 8th graders Dana A. and Sophia N., the Middle School Girls Learn International Club held a movie screening of “Half the Sky.” Half the Sky is a documentary about the challenges that girls face around the world, and how women in many countries are fighting valiantly to turn oppression into opportunity. The on-campus screening was held salon style, with time for discussion after powerful scenes. Donations were collected on behalf of Roshni Academy in India, one of Castilleja’s partner organizations. Roshni is hoping to raise enough money to buy a notebook for each incoming student, and the GLI Club is helping them reach their goals. Each attendee also had the chance to write a personal card to a Roshni student, forging bonds which transcend continents and circumstances. Well done, ladies!


Academics
Posted 03/26/2015 03:24PM

This week students in Xenia Hammer's math classes have been hard at work making models to help learning come to life.

In AP Calculus AB, girls are studying how to use integration to find the volume of solid objects. Volume can be approximated by looking at cross-sections of the solid object. To make the lesson more tangible, the girls combined integration with building 3D play-dough models of solids with cross-sections.

Meanwhile, in Ms. Hammer's Geometry Honors class, the girls are learning about the properties of 3D shapes. Students quickly progressed from studying simple cones and cubes to more complicated creations. To help the girls understand how different polygons can fit together in a larger whole, students whipped out scissors and paper to create tangible prototypes.  This daring duo decided to build 3D models of a compound polyhedron, composed of identical pyramids radiating outward from a central core. Well done, ladies!

Posted 03/24/2015 04:40PM

In honor of Women's History Month, Castilleja's 7th graders contributed to Wikipedia this week, editing articles on notable female authors who write the books our students love to read. Working with our librarians and 7th grade faculty to carry out careful, factual research, the students enhanced entries in Simple English Wikipedia. This lesson gave students the opportunity to develop a stake in a resource they use regularly, explore what it means to participate in an online intellectual community, and contribute female voices to a predominantly male crowdsourcing endeavor. The activity closed with a rousing debate about the value of Wikipedia to student researchers.

Posted 03/24/2015 08:50AM

This weekend, fifteen Upper School students traveled to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland to take part in acting and design workshops as well as to see three incredible productions: Much Ado About Nothing, Pericles, and Guys and Dolls. Not only had some girls been in Ms. Walter's Middle School production of Guys and Dolls, but many had studied Much Ado About Nothing in Theatre with Mr. Mead! Imagine everyone's surprise to also discover that Guys and Dolls was directed by none other than Mary Zimmerman, a playwright and the director of Metamorphoses, which 9th graders study in Core Arts! Check out the image in the scrolling media banner -- the students are working on Friday morning with Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor David Thompson on language and poetry.

Posted 03/20/2015 09:20AM

On Thursday the Class of 2019 built scale models of the solar system across the Circle. After converting actual sizes of the planets and their relative distances from the sun, the students were able to measure and place the amount of space between large objects in our solar system and compare those distances to the sizes of the planetary bodies. By the end of the day, all of the students were able to really grasp the immensity of our corner of space.

Posted 03/23/2015 12:30PM

Under the leadership of 8th graders Dana A. and Sophia N., the Middle School Girls Learn International Club held a movie screening of “Half the Sky.” Half the Sky is a documentary about the challenges that girls face around the world, and how women in many countries are fighting valiantly to turn oppression into opportunity. The on-campus screening was held salon style, with time for discussion after powerful scenes. Donations were collected on behalf of Roshni Academy in India, one of Castilleja’s partner organizations. Roshni is hoping to raise enough money to buy a notebook for each incoming student, and the GLI Club is helping them reach their goals. Each attendee also had the chance to write a personal card to a Roshni student, forging bonds which transcend continents and circumstances. Well done, ladies!


Posted 03/17/2015 01:39PM

The Castilleja community welcomed twenty-two Italian students and their chaperones from February 27-March 8. They were here as part of an exchange that has continued for fourteen years. Last year, Castilleja students traveled to Fano, Italy for a week-long home stay; this year, the same students came here and were hosted by their Casti partners. As part of their stay, the Italian students shadowed at Castilleja two days and participated in a history presentation on World War II, enjoyed sitting on the Circle taking in the beautiful weather, and formed a large and noisy fan base for Casti softball games. They also spent a day sightseeing in San Francisco and another day in Monterey visiting the aquarium. The most memorable moments, however, were those spent with the Castilleja girls and their families. Some reflections from the families:

"I have loved having the Fano students here. Oddly, I think it's been even more exciting/beneficial to the younger siblings. Since they didn't go to Fano, everything is new and interesting and they lead lots of dinner-table discussions. Kid questions also remind me of things I would never ask." Heather, Mother of McKenna B. '16

"We loved having our Italian exchange student, Elena. She was delightful and it was fun comparing notes on the differences in our cultures such as what we think of as pizza: 'pineapple on pizza? It is good, but it is not pizza!' But, more important was our commonalities such as the high value of friendship, the camaraderie between the students, and the great excitement at visiting new places and meeting new people. Most of all, we were amazed at how easy it was to have our student here; she really became a part of our family." Najma, Mother of Sara B. '17

"It was so nice to see things through a new set of eyes -- the eyes of our Italian daughters and sons. There were new things for us to discover even in things we thought were familiar, such as the town of Santa Cruz and the university campus that we've known for nearly two decades. And it was just as much fun for me to explore Google's campus for the first time with the group." Raja, Father of Tara T. '16

"We are honored to have shared such a amazing experience with the students. We've made a connection that will last a lifetime. We now have two new members of our family." The Wilkerson Family

~Article written by Signora Richardson

Posted 03/12/2015 11:49AM

On Friday, March 6, Winnie Auma, from Village Enterprise, spoke to the African Studies class about her “journey” and her responsibilities as a business mentor, field coordinator, and country director in her native Uganda. The youngest of fifteen children, Winnie described the poverty that prevented her from attending school. As good luck would have it, her brother, a Catholic mission, and her “auntie” saw potential in Winnie and helped her to attend school, earn support from the Female Scholarship Initiative of the Carnegie Foundation, and graduate from Makerere University. This “passionate young woman with a dazzling smile and charismatic personality” went to work for Village Enterprise, a locally-based organization dedicated to “Creating sustainable businesses.  Transforming lives.” Students left class inspired and searching for ways to take action beyond the Circle.

Posted 02/23/2015 07:00AM

By Rosie C. '16

After lugging an electric piano across the Circle and stuffing it into the trunk of a car, Music for the Community members Yael, Kaitlin, Hannah, and Rosie arrived at Stanford Mall. We set up in the Center Pavilion at the doorstep of Tiffany’s and across from Macy’s – quite a lucky location! At this performance, we collected donations for the Music in the Schools Foundation, which provides music education for under-resourced children in East Palo Alto.

We joined forces with Woodside Priory’s music club, so we had two times the musicians and two times the repertoire. The program began with a violin duet, and shifted back and forth between modern and classical pieces (including Frozen, Bruno Mars, and violin/flute duets). It was extremely gratifying to see every and all kinds of faces in the audience: older couples, moms with their children, and girls dancing around until they excitedly ran up and put their donations in our open violin cases. Seeing their smiles made the performance all the more worthwhile.

Since we've been blessed with a great musical education both outside and inside of school, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to the community and share our love of music with others who are less fortunate. After a jam-packed hour of singing and playing, we raised $234 for Music in the Schools Foundation!

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