Montgomery Township School District

Visual and Performing Arts Newsletter, March, 2021

From the Editor

March Into the Arts! - Course Registration for 2021-22

During the months of January, February, and March, we celebrate a number of different important groups of people and individuals, to include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the incredible contributions made by Black Americans and women. March is also the national celebration of Arts in Our Schools Month, and I believe this is very timely. So much of our artistic heritage and culture comes from the incredible contributions of Black and/or women visual and performing artists. These artists, along with artists from every culture and our LGBTQ community, are important for us to learn about and celebrate. The contributions they have made to our culture through art, music, theater, and dance are inseparable from who we are as people. No matter someone's race, sexual orientation, gender, or nationality, we find that all possess in common the human condition to be artistic. The arts bring us together in our common pursuit of expression and understanding, while at the same time, educate us about our unique experiences that make us all so important. As we celebrate National Arts in our Schools Month, I encourage you to take some time to deeply explore the art or music of an artist who has a different background than you. You will learn so much, and through that learning, continue to bring us closer together in our understanding and appreciation of each other. Happy National Arts in Our Schools Month!


Over the next month, our elementary and middle school students will be selecting which music, art, and theater courses they wish to enroll in for the coming school year. I have been so impressed with the amazing creative work our students have done in this hybrid and virtual learning environment, but we of course cannot wait to be back in person with all of the students. As we are planning for the coming school year, please know that we will continue to closely follow the guidance of our local, state, and national health officials. We are optimistic that we will see our students back together performing amazing music and productions and creating amazing art work in our studios here in the schools. We cannot wait to welcome you back to our beautiful performing arts facilities for concerts and theatrical productions and are looking forward to having your children be a part of that. As you receive information about electives for next school year, if you have any questions about your child's music, theater, and art options, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.


Thank you as always for your continued support of your child's arts education!


Adam Warshafsky

Supervisor, Visual and Performing Arts

Congratulation to Mrs. Tara Handschin

Enjoy Your Retirement!

After 28 years of sharing her talents and passion for theater with our students and community, Mrs. Tara Handschin has decided to pursue a new chapter in her life and has retired. Mrs. Handschin taught our UMS and MHS students in both our curricular theater courses and directed over 50 theatrical productions. She brought a love of theater to our community, frequently exposing her students to professional theater and actors through trips to Broadway and clinics with professional actors. Many of Mrs. Handschin's students have continued on with theater as a profession and continue to speak positively of her influence. Mrs. Handschin's students and productions have won many awards and received consistent state recognition, including the Foxy Awards, the Montclaire State University Theater Arts Awards, awards for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Ensemble, Best Stage Combat, Best Comedy, and more.


Please join me in thanking Mrs. Handschin for her years of service to our students and community and offering her the warmest of congratulations. We wish her the best in her future endeavors. Thank you Mrs. Handschin!

From the Music Department

Update from OHES Music!

Please click on the images below to learn about what our youngest music students have been engaged in during our music classes.

VES Orchestra Students Learn about Florence Beatrice Price

The 4th grade students in the VES orchestra are playing the music of one of our most important composers of color, Florence Beatrice Price. Please click below to learn about her and the piece our students are learning, A Morning Sunbeam. You can also hear our students' performance of this in the virtual orchestra performance down below in this newsletter.

VES Band and Orchestra Student Performances!!

The students of Ms. Housten's 4th grade band and Dr. Goldman's 4th grade orchestra have been hard at work learning about their instruments both virtually and in person. It is incredible what they have been able to accomplish in such a short time, especially in this hybrid and virtual setting. Please click below to enjoy these recordings of our 4th grade band and orchestra students performing together! These recordings were put together virtually, with Ms. Housten and Dr. Goldman layering each student's individual recording on top of each other.


We are so proud of our youngest instrumentalists in the district! Bravo!!

VES Band Performance!

4th Grade Band students, taught by Ms. Housten

VES Orchestra Performance!

4th Grade Orchestra students, taught by Dr. Goldman

6th Grade Chorus Perform One Wish

Please enjoy this beautiful virtual performance of "One Wish" from our 6th Grade Chorus! This video was presented to parents back in the winter, but we wanted to share with all.

UMS Orchestra Students Research Contributions of Black Classical Musicians

Our UMS 8th grade orchestra students engaged in a research project to learn about important Black musicians from the classical genre. Through their own research, under the guidance of Ms. Yavorsky, our students identified important composers, performers, and conductors who have all made a significant impact in the development of classical music. Please click below to learn about some of these very important musicians.

MHS Bands Want You Back!

Members of the MHS Bands put together this fantastic virtual recording of "I Want You Back." Thanks to Mr. Brennan for putting this together! We hope you enjoy... Great job!

From the Visual Arts Department

VES Art Exhibit

Please enjoy this art work from our 3rd and 4th grade art students! Beautiful job to all the students!

UMS Art Students Celebrate Black History Month

Please enjoy this beautiful presentation of some of our most important Black artists and their beautiful artwork. Students in Ms. Ehnert's classes learned about their lives and studied their works of art. This is a beautiful presentation and we hope you and your family can learn and enjoy.

UMS and MHS Students Submit to Somerset County Youth Arts Month Exhibit!

Congratulations to the students in Ms. Ehnert's class (UMS) and Ms. Palecek's class (MHS) who had artwork accepted into the Somerset County Youth Art Month Exhibit. Please enjoy this beautiful display of our student's art work.

MSH Studio Art 1 Exhibit

Please enjoy some of the beautiful work being done this year from our Studio Art 1 students!