Tag: Sarika Reddy

Poetry Out Loud

Words: Miranda Mason

Photos: Paul Didwall

Ellicott City, MD – On Friday, November 30, 2012, the school-wide Poetry Out Loud (POL) competition took place in the CHS auditorium, with senior Sarika Reddy winning first place, Gabe Lewman with second place and Brianna Richardson as the runner-up.

Seven students, who first competed in their English classes, participated in the event: Sarika Reddy, Gabe Lewman, Brianna Richardson, Julia Zhen, Tahiyat Sheikh, Ona Ichoku and Emma Cooley.

Poetry Out Loud is a poetry recitation competition that students nationwide compete in each year. POL is designed to encourage kids to learn about poetry, along with mastering public speaking and building self-confidence, something English teacher Corey O’Brien believes is important.

“It gives students the opportunity to speak in front of their peers in a formal style. They get to choose their own poems, so it means more to them and they can do more with that,” said O’Brien.

For students, this was a chance to showcase their talents in a way that differs from performing in a play or musical. The school-wide POL competition also gives the top two students who participated the chance to move on to the next stage of Poetry Out Loud.

“I’m so excited. We’ve been preparing for this for weeks, and it’s a wonderful opportunity,” said junior Brianna Richardson before she went on stage for the event.

The first and second place winners, Reddy and Lewman, will move on to the county competition. From there, there is a regional and a state competition before the national event. If either Reddy or Lewman wins at the state level, they will receive $200 and a paid trip to Washington D.C., where the national competition is taking place April 28-30, 2013.

The Spectacular Winter Spectacular

Article: Paul Didwall

Photos: Caitlin Martin

Ellicott City, MD – If The Winter Spectacular were a movie, and you were to watch a trailer for it, quotes would sequentially appear on the screen with sayings such as, “10 out of 10,” “Five Stars,” “Centennial Amazes Again,” “There is a reason it is called The Winter SPECTACULAR.” The annual Centennial High School event was held on November 29 and 30 this year, at 7:00 PM in the CHS auditorium. Tickets were $10 a piece and could be purchased at the door or in advance.

Prior to the 7:00 start time, the Madrigals sang the audience in to the room with songs from their repertoire. The show then started off with Santa’s journey to CHS, featuring a comical video of him driving in to the Centennial parking lot blaring holiday music, and then running in to the school getting each performing group ready for the show. Santa, played by Benjamin Evans, and two of his reindeer, Jillian Loeffler and Sarika Reddy, got the performances stared by welcoming the entire cast on stage to perform There’s No Business Like SNOW Business! Santa and his reindeer continued to keep the audience entertained throughout the night with the story of their trip around the globe.

Madrigals then took to the stage to perform Deck the Halls!, and returned at various intervals to wow the audience with more holiday tunes. The Centennial Dance Academy – an after school program for younger dances that was introduced last year – was the second group to take the stage and had a considerable number of performances throughout the night. Each Musical Theater performance was very enthusiastic and well put-together, making it easy to enjoy.

Junior and Senior Dance companies wowed the audience on many occasions including a detailed group performance of The Nutcracker Suite, featuring a solo by senior Madison Croxson. After a few more dances, a phenomenal iteration of Sleigh Ride was performed by the Strings. The show continued on with more dances, musical theater performances, and singing from the Madrigals, as well as more details of the story being told by Santa and the Reindeer.

By this point of The Winter Spectacular, it was time for Jazz Band to take the stage. The Jazz band performed Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas, with flawless vocal accompaniment by Anne Marie Demme. Strings played another great song between the execution of the two Jazz band songs. After the various performances by the various performing arts groups, the entire cast was again brought back in to the auditorium to collectively perform Feliz Navidad. The Band provided the instrumental music, Madrigals and Music Theater sang the lyrics, and dancers filled the auditorium aisles to dance and pass out festive candy canes. The Jazz Band then returned to play the crowd out of the auditorium, with a drum solo from Kevin Lehr.

The night should be considered a success by all involved. Congratulations to the cast and crew of The 2012 Winter Spectacular on a fantastic job.

If you missed the chance to visit this event on Thursday, I would urge you to attend tonight’s (11/30/12) performance at 7:00 PM in the CHS auditorium.