Inspiring A Playful And Joyful Performance

families view art at lower school art showby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

It is difficult to be thinking about spring while a snow storm is bearing down on us and we are all enjoying an unexpected snow day. However, spring is my favorite season for many reasons. One of which is the Lower School Art and Music Show. Slowly, over spring break, the gallery and halls of MPA come alive with beautiful works of art created by our Lower School students. Ms. Rossbach works throughout the break to carefully curate and present their art thoughtfully and enchantingly. If you have walked the halls this past week or so, I am sure you will agree with me that it is magnificent.

The theme of this year’s show is inspired by the music of the Beatles, envisioned and interpreted by our very talented Lower School students. Art teacher Karen Rossbach and Music teacher Mari Espeland have yet again collaborated magnificently—as they have for more than 33 years—to integrate art and music, inspiring a playful and joyful performance that cannot be matched elsewhere.

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Finding Balance In The Snow

third graders snowshoeing in Phy EdBy Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

Like you, I spent a good part of the day Wednesday shoveling out from another blast of snow. I love the quiet of a snow storm and work to find balance between appreciating the beauty and cursing the extra work it requires. It has also been a challenge to find balance between the safety of our community and our commitment to academic excellence. Cancelling school is never an easy decision, particularly when we have missed so many days already. Finding balance is tough work.

As I was shoveling, I was thinking about another challenging balance that is important to maintain: the three A’s (arts, athletics, and academics) that serve as the foundation of our school’s mission. In particular, I’ve been troubled by the state of athletics, not only in Minnesota, but nationally. There has been a rise of single sport athletes and club sports that affects not only athletic programs, but also athletes themselves. At MPA, we strive to offer a variety of opportunities for our students, maintain a no-cut policy, and be competitive. However, that is becoming increasingly difficult to balance as well. Read More

Spend Your Summer With Us

summer at mpa Summer is fast approaching, and we are excited to announce our 2019 Enrichment Classes, Panther Camp, and additional summer offerings! The variety of opportunities will help motivate and nurture your child’s curiosity and learning, while having lots of fun in the process!

Weekly-themed Panther Camp programs offer activities that allow students to explore nature, science, sports, arts, and so much more. Panther Camp is available June 10–14 and July 8–August 9. You can register your child for daily, half-day, and weekly Panther Camp options. Panther Camp is available 7 AM–6 PM.

Summer Enrichment Classes runs June 17–21 and offers a wide variety of engaging class topics such as: chess, art, science, academic, carpentry, sport, and more. Enrichment classes run 9 AM–4 PM, and during this week, free Panther Care is available from 7–9 AM and 4–6 PM.

During the week of June 24–28, we are offering the national award-winning STEM program, Camp Invention. This week-long camp consists of exciting, hands-on, inquiry-based activities that allow students to explore, create, and innovate. Camp Invention runs 9 AM–3:30 PM, with free Panther Care available 7–9 AM and 3:30–6 PM.

Also, for the first time ever, MPA is running a two-week long Summer Musical Theatre Camp directed by a local Twin Cities theatre director! Whether you have experience on stage or not, here is your chance to “SHINE.” This camp runs July 15–26 from 9 AM–12 PM, with a performance scheduled at end.

We look forward to a fun and productive summer, and hope you  join us! Register and learn more here. Please contact Russ Purdy at if you have any questions.

State Honor Choir Participants

Isak Dai and Ryan Ghose with Mr. Habermann Congratulations to Isak Dai and Ryan Ghose on their performance with the State 9-10 SATB Honor Choir! Under the direction of Bradley Miller from the University of Minnesota Morris, Ryan and Isak sang a variety of repertoire with some of the best ninth and tenth grade musicians from across the state. Both are members of MPA’s Madrigal Singers and Concert Choir.

All-State Participants

Congratulations to Gabby Law, Solveig Svennevig-Brosi, Jordan Akers, and Julia Portis on their stunning performance with the All-State Choirs at Orchestra Hall! Gabby, Solveig, and Jordan sang in the Mixed Choir while Julia was a member of the Soprano-Alto Choir. All four of them sing in MPA’s Concert Choir and Madrigals.

Also this past weekend, Lance Go and Lauren Vilendrer performed in the All-State Concerts in conjunction with the Minnesota Music Educators Convention. Lance played with the All-State Jazz Band to a packed crowd in the Ballroom at the Minnesota Convention Center, while Lauren played with the All-State Symphonic Band at Orchestra Hall.

Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards 2019

Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards

The Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards (MSAA) is organized and administered by the Art Educators of Minnesota.  Professional jurors select work submitted by students in grades 7-12. The competition is recognized by the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design.

Out of 3,746 submissions this year, awards were granted as follows: 309 Gold Keys, 384 Silver Keys, 699 Honorable Mentions. Gold Key work will go on to compete at the national level.

Gold Key works will be on display at the Regis Center for the Arts West Gallery at the University of Minnesota, from February 5-23, 2019. Silver Key works will be displayed digitally in a slide presentation on gallery monitors during the exhibition. Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention works will all be featured in an online gallery.

Please join the Visual Art Department in congratulating the following artists who had work recognized in the 2019 Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards! Read More

Invite A Friend To MPA’s January Admission Events

Pajamarama 2018

Invite a friend to visit and get to know MPA! We are hosting two wonderful admission events in January–the Middle and Upper School Preview and Pajamarama!

On Sunday, January 27 at 1 PM, prospective Middle and Upper students and their families are invited to campus to preview MPA! This is a fantastic opportunity to explore our school and help participants get to know MPA.

On Thursday, January 31 from 5-7:30 PM, is Pajamarama! This beloved event at MPA welcomes prospective Lower School families to campus for an unforgettable evening of games, music, community, and pure joy! Take a closer look at the joy of Pajamarama with MPA Orchestra Director Leah Abbe Bloem’s insight and experience.

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Preview the Joy of MPA at Pajamarama

Elementary Students playing instrument with high school studentby Leah Abbe Bloem, Orchestra Director

Pajamarama is pure joy at its finest! This year’s event will be once again combined with the Lower School Admission Preview and held on Thursday, January 31. The evening will begin at 5 PM for prospective families and 5:45 PM for current families.

This Mounds Park Academy original event is a concert created by Upper School orchestra students for Lower School students and their families. The creative endeavor gives Upper School students a chance to entertain and engage with the younger children with unabashed delight. They get to remember what it was like to be a little kid, hearing an orchestra for the first time, in such a welcoming, happy, and fun atmosphere.

Celebrating the MPA Community
We are very fortunate to have pre-kindergarten through high school students all on one campus, which builds a strong sense of community that feels like home. The Upper School orchestra students learn the music and plan a carnival with the understanding that the performance is not about them, but rather what they are giving to, and sharing with, the broader community.

The strong connection between Upper and Lower School students is evident every day at MPA, including at this event. Each student is kind and supportive of one another. At the event, the little ones are encouraged to try games again and again until they win, with cheers from the older students. Even those waiting in line will tell their peers in front of them to try again if they didn’t win the first time.

Elementary student playing game with a high school student

Experiencing the Joy of Musical Performance
Pajamarama is important because it gives the Upper School students a chance to look past the technical side of music education and experience the joy of sharing a musical performance. It also provides the opportunity for the orchestra students to really consider who their audience is and create an experience for them. The Upper School students learn about games and music that they may not even know in order to make each and every audience member feel valued and celebrated. They enjoy having the chance to give back to a school and community they love so much. Read More

Curiosity Continued

upper school science labby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

I have often heard that people like to read my weekly messages. That is always welcome news as it can be time consuming and sometimes stressful in the midst of my other duties and demands on my time. However, I truly enjoy the opportunity to reflect on a particular topic relevant to education or taking place in the world and connect it with what is happening at MPA. At times, I am struck by something that happens in a classroom or event that gives rise to a deep appreciation for our exceptional teachers and the unique educational experience provided at MPA.

It is particularly rewarding when something I write resonates with the community. My message two weeks ago, “Cultivating A Curious Mindset,” did just that. Since then, I have had a number of conversations with parents who connected what I wrote with their experiences in the workplace. In a moment of serendipity, Dr. Mike Mercer, Lower School parent of Henry and Charlie, shared that on the day I wrote about curiosity, he covered the same topic with his medical students. He shared with me a very powerful article entitled “Curiosity” written a number of years ago by Faith T. Fitzgerald, M.D. from the UC Davis Medical Center. Read More

Purchase Your Tickets For “The Consul”

students create set pieces for the consulTo see the set pieces made my MPA students in “The Consul,” purchase your tickets here!

The Arbeit Opera Theatre was thrilled to collaborate with MPA and our community to put on this opera. Thank you to all of the students and volunteers who helped out! This 1950s-based show deals with issues of immigration and human rights and is intended for audiences of 13 years or older.