News from the Arts

January 2022 • Princeton Public Schools

Welcome to News from the Arts

The Princeton Public Schools Visual and Performing Arts department is pleased to share an electronic newsletter with information about recent and upcoming events. We are grateful for the tremendous community support for our programs and invite you to attend our many events so that you may experience the incredible and inspiring work of our students. If the cost of admission would present a financial hardship for your family, please contact us at patricklenihan@princetonk12.org. For more information, please visit our website at: www.princetonk12.org/TheArts.

Updated Arts Health Protocols

The arts continue to thrive in Princeton Public Schools. We are so proud of our students, their resilience, and the joy that they bring to their work. I would like to take this opportunity to recognize our arts teachers across the district, who have given countless hours and tremendous effort to ensure that your children continue to have a positive and meaningful experience in the visual and performing arts.


Over the last 22 months, we have worked closely with our school physician and the Princeton Health Department to determine the best path forward during the pandemic. We have gradually moved through several phases of re-opening in the arts department. We began the 2021-22 school year with outdoor music instruction, and we moved to indoor music instruction in November. While engaged in indoor activities that generate additional aerosols (like singing, playing wind instruments, acting, and dancing), students wear face masks and are spaced apart at six feet of social distance. We ordered special face masks and bell covers for every child who plays a wind instrument in our program. In December, we hosted several indoor performances with a limited live audience. While we work through the latest challenges associated with the Omicron variant, we will need to limit performances with an audience for the month of January, but we will continue to provide in-person instruction using the safety protocols that have been implemented in our program. It is our hope that we will continue to move towards a more "normal" spring. Our complete arts plan can be found on our district website. Please feel free to contact Patrick Lenihan if you have any questions.


Thank you for your continued support of our arts program.

Bethel Park Falls Exhibition

The PHS Fall Drama production, Bethel Park Falls, engaged over 100 students, both on and off the stage. An exciting collaboration developed between Set Designer Jeffrey Van Velsor and Visual Art Teacher Bridget Schmidt in designing and constructing the set for the show.


Ms. Schmidt and Mr. Van Velsor shared, "This was the first major collaboration between the Visual and Performing Arts. For us, it was a thrill to see the students’ work go from the Shop, to the Studio, to the Stage, and then installed within a gallery atmosphere. It highlighted the creative and collaborative process, while giving each artist individual recognition for their contribution to the dramatic installation. We are proud and impressed with the journey this work has been through. The process included: raw materials cut by the Build Crew, turned into works of sculpture by the Art Students, then assembled into a large installation piece on stage by the Tech Crew, given life by the Actors, and finally installed as individual works of art in Numina Gallery. Each piece was handled by multiple students along the way, contributing something of themselves, to form this collaborative narrative."


The artwork was exhibited during the month of December in our gallery. Congratulations to all of the students and faculty involved in this truly collaborative and inspirational project.

PHS December Big Band Dance

On December 23, the PHS band program presented a virtual concert of jazz music from the 1940’s to today, featuring the Tiger Bands, Nassau Bands, Jazz Ensemble, and Studio Band. This concert was recorded live without an audience and will be available on our YouTube channel through the end of this week. We recognized Mr. Grimaldi's retirement at the end of the video.


Please click here for the YouTube link.

PHS Band Program Gives Back

As part of their December programming, the PHS band students collected over $1000 worth of food for the Princeton Mobile Food Pantry. Thank you to all of the students and Directors Joe Bongiovi and Scott Grimaldi for engaging in this service learning activity.

PHS Winter Concert


Since 1946, the annual PHS Winter Concert at the University Chapel has been a Princeton community tradition. Featuring all of the PHS choirs and orchestras, the program includes a variety of repertoire, a candlelight processional, and an energetic finale. We were so fortunate to be able to use such an incredible and beautiful space for this event on December 22. We made a video recording of the performance that will premiere on our YouTube channel on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at 7:30 PM. The video will be available for approximately two weeks.


In addition, the performance will be aired on WWFM, the Classical Network, on Friday, January 14, 2022, at 8:00 PM. We are honored to be one of the few high schools to be featured on this radio network. You may listen live on 89.1 FM or at www.wwfm.org.


Congratulations to all of our students and directors Robert Loughran, Vincent Metallo, and Sarah Pelletier.

PHS Drama Students Participate in Virtual Theatre Arts State Competition

Congratulations to the PHS Drama Students on participating in the 2022 NJ Governor's Awards for Theatre Arts State Competition. We had 41 students participate and submitted 53 performances to the competition in 15 different theatre categories. The competition has moved fully virtual, and the Awards Ceremony will now be held on Friday, February 11, 2022, after all categories have been adjudicated. The Improv Pairs competition category was held live over Zoom this past Saturday, and ten of our PHS actors competed. Four of our students scored in the top ten of the competition, advancing to the finals: Lydia Garcia, Pippi White, Anton Edson and Graham Beers. The final results will be announced at the Awards Ceremony in February.


Congratulations to all of the students who represented PHS and to Director Julianna Krawiecki!

AANJ Emerging Artists Exhibition

Congratulations to PHS student Chloe Kassas, who will represent Princeton High School at the Emerging Artists Exhibition sponsored by the Art Administrators of New Jersey. The exhibition will be available virtually at the end of January and will feature artwork by high school students from across the state. Chloe's piece, a self-portrait, will be on display at the Valley Road Administration Building for the next month.

PMS Winter Art Show and Concert

Please join us for a virtual concert featuring the Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Choirs, the Concert and Symphonic Bands, and the String Orchestra, Symphony, and Chamber Orchestra performing repertoire from around the world. The concert will be recorded without an audience and premiered on our YouTube channel. The concert will be preceded by our annual winter art show, also presented virtually, which will feature artwork by our first semester art students.


Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Art Show: 6:00 PM

Concert: 7:30 PM

Links to both events will be posted at www.princetonk12.org/TheArts.

Tentative Upcoming Events

  • District Collaborative Art Show: February 25, 2022, 6:00 PM, PHS Numina Gallery
  • Gospel Festival: March 4, 2022, 7:30 PM, PHS PAC
  • PHS Spring Musical: Curtains, March 24-26, 2022, 7:30 PM, PHS PAC
  • PMS Spring Musical: High School Musical, Jr., April 1-2, 2022, 7:30 PM, Virtual

Contact Us

Patrick Lenihan, Supervisor of Visual and Performing Arts

Princeton Public Schools

Our next electronic arts newsletter will be distributed in late February and will include additional details about our upcoming events.