Category: Feature

Centennial Hosts Annual Poetry Out Loud Competition

Words: Delanie Tucker and Madison Baltimore

Photos: Sayak Maity

Poetry Out Loud, an annual Centennial tradition, took place on December 13 during periods five and six.

“Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition that is a collaboration among different organizations,” said Corey O’Brien, the school-site coordinator and English teacher at Centennial. “Students do not perform the poems, but bring them to life with their voices, in a way becoming the poems.”

Students recited poems of their choice from the Poetry Out Loud official website.

Poushali Banerjee, Sarah Donyaee, Sam Melicosta, Kieran Newell, Carolyn Reynolds, Masha Samokhvalova, Malika Shah, Daniyar Sheets, Selaya Smithery, Philip Wang, and Ashley Xu were featured in this year’s competition, reciting poems such as “Abandoned Farmhouse” by Ted Kooser and “Catch A Little Rhyme” by Eve Merriam.

“It starts in the classroom with classroom competition. The winners from those go to the school competition. And we send one winner to the regional competition,” O’Brien stated. “I think we’ve had 3 [students] who have placed at regionals go to states.

“I can’t say how I heard about it, like 7 or 8 years ago,” O’Brien continued, speaking on how long it has been running at Centennial. “But I thought it would be a good activity for Advanced Composition to get involved with it.”

The winner of the competition was Banerjee, with Shah in second and Smithery in third.

“Mrs. McDonough-Schlehr and [National English Honor Society] actually organizes the school competition, though. I just make sure we have the space and the people ready to go. Beyond the school competition, the Maryland State Arts Council organizes [Poetry Out Loud] for the state of Maryland,” O’Brien said, giving credit to those who made the event possible.

Banerjee will advance to the Region Two competition on January 19, 2019.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial High School Hosts Their Annual Winter Orchestra Concert

Words and Photos: Ellie Zoller-Gritz

On December 11th, Centennial hosted their annual Winter Orchestra Concert. The concert highlighted the Centennial String Ensemble and Centennial String Orchestra.

The concert began with the String Ensemble playing Menuetto from Symphony no. 5 and Suite of Carols.

Concertmaster, Zeyu Zhong, announced their third piece, Wharton’s Hoedown, which brought an upbeat mood to the concert.

Before the String Ensemble finished with their last piece, Swan Lake Dances, orchestra director, Allen Leung, expressed that he is “so proud” of the String Ensemble for all of their hard work.

After a quick transition, the Centennial String Orchestra started their performance with Sinfonia No. 2, followed by Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky.

After playing Suite for String Orchestra, Leung gave thanks to Centennial administration, staff, music team, and the booster organization, Friends of Music. He concluded his speech by saying, “Congratulations to the string orchestra, we thank them for their hard work.”

They ended the night with an arrangement of Carol of the Bells and wished everyone happy holidays.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Hosts a Successful Winter Band Concert

Words:Thomas Hitt

Photos: Ellie Zoller-Gritz

On December 10, Centennial hosted their annual Winter Band Concert, featuring Percussion Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Symphonic Winds and the Wind Ensemble.

The Percussion Ensemble opened the night with two song selections. The first was an Overture for Percussion and the second was Diablo, a gentle and delicate piece.

The Symphonic Band took the stage next, playing four song selections. The ensemble’s first song was Bravura, followed by Fall River Overture, then two movements of Three Ayres from Gloucester.

They finished with Carol of the Bells, a popular Christmas song.

The Symphonic Winds entertained the audience later with The Barber of Seville Overture, followed by Puszta and Sleigh Ride.

The Wind Ensemble closed the concert with two upbeat selections.

They performed fewer songs for the winter concert since they will be performing a larger selection at a concert called Tutti: Prelude to The Midwest Clinic.

The concert will be held at Peabody’s Friedberg Concert Hall this Thursday, December 13.

A continuation of the winter concerts was held on December 11, featuring Centennial’s orchestras and continues on December 12, featuring Centennial’s choirs.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Life in Guatemala: An Interview with Olga Cobo Raymundo

Interview: Minah Mubasher

What was your life like in Guatemala?

My life was bad. Guatemala was dangerous. The gangs there killed my friend, Lucia. She lived next to me and was my best friend. She would always buy me gifts and was very nice. We would do our homework at my house.

Would you like to go back to Guatemala?

I cannot go back to Guatemala. I want to stay here with my father, mother, and my little sister. I also have many new friends here. Even if I wanted to go back, my mother does not have money for a plane.

How have you been adjusting to life here in Maryland?

When I came here, I was 12 years old. The people here were very nice to me. Living here is easy because there is less fear and it is safer here.

What do you miss most about Guatemala?

I miss my house in Guatemala. I also miss my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and my grandparents. My grandpa is very sick. He cannot walk and only has a couple more years to live. My mother sends him money to help pay for his medicine.

What do your friends in Guatemala think America is like?

My friends Elena thinks life here is fun. My other friend, Albaro wanted to come to America with me. His father is here and it is safer. All my friends think America is rich and that there are famous people everywhere.

Do you like life in America or Guatemala Better?

I like it here better. Everything here is better. The school is better and so are my friends. Even the food here is more tasty. There are many more options in America. I didn’t like the meat in Guatemala. The meat vendors did not wash it very well.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan

Behind the Curtain: The Unseen Stars of the Show

Words: Sasha Allen

People go to plays to watch the onstage action, but they don’t always appreciate or even know about how much effort goes on behind the scenes. Lights, sound, sets, props, and costumes wouldn’t be a part of a play without one specific group of people: the tech crew. Without these crucial members of the show who make sure that the whole production runs smoothly, productions of plays and musicals would be less enjoyable for the audience. With this year’s production of Clue coming up, both actors and tech crew are getting ready for an exciting play.

The members of tech crew for Centennial’s production of Clue have started working already, meeting about every other week. About two weeks before the date of the play, they start meeting every day up to opening night on November 15, to assure the play runs as planned.

Tech crew is a huge commitment, and the members are working hard to get ready. Stage manager Emily Dahlgren said that the crew is busy organizing the props and the set to allow for steady scene changes. The crew also went through the script and figured out what props are needed for which scene. This, however, is not easy, and it takes a lot of research because the props need to look a certain way to reflect the setting and era of the play. “For this show specifically, the props are all very intricate,” said Dahlgren. “The main prop pieces are the weapons found in the actual game, and we’re trying to make them as close to the real game as possible.”

Dahlgren is in charge of overseeing each aspect behind the scenes to make sure everything is in order. She has been a part of theater before she started high school, but to her, it is more than just a commitment. She loves watching two different aspects of the show come together after so much hard work.

Dahlgren puts a huge amount of her time into theater, from the first rehearsals to the last show. She attends every rehearsal for the actors, every set build, and every technical rehearsal to check that everyone and everything is in the right place.

While most of the members have a specialized job, working on sound, set, lighting, or props and costumes, Dahlgren oversees all of that and more. She helps build sets, organize the props, and manages what goes on behind the scenes. The crew has a huge amount of respect for her and everything she does.

During the show, the cast doesn’t get a break. “A lot of theater is thinking on your feet,” said Dahlgren. But she isn’t just talking about the actors. There is a lot of preparation, and on the night of the show each tech crew member has to be at a certain place at a certain time, much like acting.

Kai Daley, an actor in the upcoming show, appreciates all of the hard work that the crew puts in. She says that they will help an actor whenever they need it by fixing a mic or trading in a prop, and she believes that they deserve more attention for all of the work that they put in.

“Tech crew is the last thing that brings a show together and makes it believable to the audience,” said Daley. “Nothing would be the same without [them].”

Everyone who is a part of the Clue production puts in so much time and effort whether they are an actor or a part of the crew, and they all care about making the production reach its full potential. Even though they all have different jobs, everyone who is a part of theater has one thing in common: their passion for what they are doing and the work they put in.

Clue will be running here at Centennial from November 15-17 at 7pm and on November 18 at 2pm. The tickets can be purchased for $12 online or $15 at the door. Be sure to come out and support the whole Centennial theater program!

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

A Freshman Perspective

Words: Xander Mauer

Freshman year is a time of great change and uncertainty for many people. Most upperclassmen are well adjusted to the high school experience and often forget how strange it all was on their first day of high school. It is important to understand the perspective of current freshmen in order to properly empathize with them and help them feel welcome.

Many freshmen were quite surprised by the lack of space in the halls, due to Centennial’s student body reaching 1,614 students in total this year. Comparing this to middle schools, which usually have less than one thousand students, it’s no surprise that the newest class is a little overwhelmed.

High school seems to be more similar to middle school than most would think. Most freshmen said that the biggest and most noticeable difference is simply that lockers are not used as much.

Freshman Ahmed Hussin’s transition has been almost seamless.

“[The biggest difference so far has been] carrying our backpacks all day,” Hussin observed.

Something many students may recall is the anticipation during the summer between eighth and ninth grade. In middle school, teachers always stressed that everything assigned was in preparation for high school, which is just preparation for college. This constant reminder of the future can make it seem like a scary unknown, but it turns out that is not the case.

Freshman Sean May has found that high school is less intimidating than he thought. “The middle school [I went to] over-hyped high school,” stated May.

This seems to be a common occurrence, as Hussin agreed. “Middle school teachers made [high school] sound way harder [than it is].”

Although some freshmen find high school to be the standard schooling experience they have gotten used to, others have not been so lucky. The majority of students lamented over the increased homework. Freshman Ian MacIver noticed the difference in the way classes are taught.

“[There is] less time spent on each topic in classes,” MacIver noted.

The class of 2022 manages to hold onto hope in the face of these struggles, finding solace in extracurriculars. Almost every single freshman surveyed said that their biggest anticipation in school is actually an out-of-school experience.

Some freshmen aspire to make a contribution to the school sports teams, while others find enjoyment in joining clubs to be with friends after school. Regardless of what one considers their preferred activity, there is a place for them somewhere among the many extracurriculars at Centennial.

Freshmen often feel ostracized from the other classes, but it is important to remember that all students have been in their shoes. Each and every student can get overwhelmed, especially when immersed in an unfamiliar situation. Freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior: in the end, they are all just students who want to make the most out of their high school experience.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Marching Band Season Concludes with Awards

Words: Thomas Hitt

Photos: Ellie Zoller-Gritz

The Centennial Marching Band concluded their season on October 29, by having an awards ceremony and potluck dinner.

While everyone finished eating, each section was called up one at a time to receive superlatives made by the section leaders of each section. From funny, to caring and most improved, all the superlatives were a great way to thank each student for their participation in a great marching band season.

After spending time eating, talking and receiving awards, the students moved to the auditorium where the seniors gave small, moving speeches about their experiences throughout their years of marching band.

After every senior had a chance to speak, all parents were invited into the auditorium to watch a slideshow of the marching band season with the students.

The slideshow included a collection of the highlights and best moments of marching band camp and memories throughout the season.

As it was an emotional time for seniors, it was also a joyous time for everyone as the marching band celebrated the season with a potluck dinner and fun awards.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.