Students from Bishop’s had the opportunity over the past few months to work online with Grammy Award-winning Third Coast Percussion and noted choreographers Quentin Robinson and Katie Thompson. The film of their work debuts on June 1.
Along with music and dance students from Mira Mesa High School and the San Diego School of the Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), the group worked virtually over a two-month period to create a new five-minute collaborative piece captured on film in The Baker-Baum Concert Hall at The Conrad.
The original work is titled Spring Flight. When it premieres online as part of the La Jolla Music Society’s Education Ambassador Project, the students will have the opportunity to share the behind-the-scenes aspect of their creative process and watch the premiere together online. You can view it here
The entire project was virtual. Students in Robert Anderson's instrumental music classes worked with Third Coast Percussion in Chicago to compose the score, while Donna Cory's PDG students and those from SCPA were involved with choreography and dance performance. Once the music was completed, the choreographers took over on Zoom, one from Arizona. Quentin Robinson choreographed the first third, the dance students from Bishop's PDG and SCPA choreographed the middle third and Katie Thompson choreographed the final third. Student dancers filmed their segments in half-hour sessions at The Conrad on Saturday, May 22.
The invitation for the collaboration came last fall, but the logistics of getting ideas, project scope and schedules coordinated finally came together this spring. Musicians began working in April, then the dancers began working together virtually in May.
Ms. Cory shares, "My PDG students are very cognizant that this opportunity would not have been possible if this were a 'normal' school year. COVID, in all its horror, made this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity possible. That said, I feel the main take-away for my students has been learning to lean into the act of seeing what a situation is offering you. Consciously trying not to dwell on all a difficult circumstance is taking from you, but, rather finding what opportunity is buried there within it. COVID has taken a great deal from the performing arts students. This was, however, a remarkable opportunity that would not have been possible without this unforeseen set of circumstances."
Bishop's student musicians included Aidan Afshar '24, (cello) ,Marly Berlin '26 (piano), Connor Schneider '22 (alto saxophone), Novalyne Petreikis '23 (cello) and Chris Zheng '27 (violin). Bishop's PDG dancers were Jada Davis '21, Delilah Delgado '21, Cami Farrell '22, Ashlyn Hunter '22, Michelle Lai '22, Haha Shi '22, Alex Spitzer '21, Izzy Tang '23, Michelle Wang '22, Elise Watson '22, Sharisa You '22, Daniel Zhao '21 and Emily Zhou '23.