Favorite Orchestra Moments

Orchestra PerformanceMs. Abbe, orchestra director, asked her students from the Class of 2017: What’s your favorite orchestra memory? They are both heartwarming and funny, so we wanted to share …

“My favorite MPA orchestra moment would be right after we got our instruments in 5th grade. Grace, Izzy, Hannah, and I would sit in a circle and play together, even though we had no idea what we were doing.” – Sofia Troullier

“My favorite orchestra moment was when Ms. Abbe asked us what ‘piu’ meant and Rachel said ‘smelly.'” – Gracie DeBoer

“My favorite orchestra moment was my first Pajamarama concert. Seeing all of the kids getting so enthusiastic about the music and dancing filled me with joy.” -Theo Janke-Furman

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Middle And Upper School Art Exhibition Opening Reception

You are invited to attend the Middle And Upper School Art Exhibition opening reception on Wednesday, May 17, 6–7 PM in the Gallery. Artists from all second semester Middle and Upper School Visual Arts courses will have work on display: Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Drawing, Ceramics, Painting, Photography, and Digital Mediums. Artist’s work will be on display in the Gallery and throughout the Middle School Commons through May 24.


Pippin Spring Musical Resounding Success

Congratulations to the cast, crew, orchestra members, and production staffers of Pippin who worked tirelessly to create this incredible, thought-provoking Spring Musical for our community! And a very special thanks to Ms. Gregg for her leadership!

Four Students Selected As All-State Choir Members

Congratulations to Gabby Law, Laura O’Neill, Sarah Ley, and Kelly Myers who auditioned and were selected to be members of the Minnesota Music Educators Association’s All-State Choir program in 2017–18! This is the first time that MPA has had four girls make All-State Choir in one year.
Laura will sing in the SATB choir under the direction of G. Phillip Shoultz III (Associate Conductor with Vocal Essence) while Gabby, Sarah, and Kelly will be part of the SSAA choir conducted by Bret Amundson (College of St. Scholastica). Held at St. John’s University, the All-State Choir camp runs for five day culminating with a performance in the Abbey. In February 2018, the All-State Choirs reunite and sing at Orchestra Hall. Bravo to our MPA singers on this outstanding honor!

Head’s Message: Coming Together

by Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending our school’s production of Pippin. I am impressed on so many levels with the accomplishments of our students. The singing was phenomenal, the music was beautiful, and the acting and staging was excellent. I was also struck by the diversity of the cast and crew. Students from across all three grade levels, peer groups, and interests were represented. It was an “MPA Moment” that captured the mission of our school.

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Theatre Department Musings

Theatre Pippin PosterPippin in the News
Lillie News took an in-depth look at the show. Read the full article here!

Tickets Still Available for Pippin
Attend Pippin Thursday night, Friday night, or Saturday night at 7 PM in the Nicholson Center. Led by the charismatic Leading Player, the cast will tell the story of Pippin, a young prince who longs to find passion and adventure in his life. Pippin struggles to decide whether he should settle down and pursue a peaceful life or continue to make magic with the dazzling troupe of performers. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors, and $10 for adults, and can be purchased here. Bring a friend!

2017–18 Theatre Preview
The Theatre Department is proud to announce the 2017–18 season!
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Lower School Art and Music Show

Wednesday night’s Lower School Art and Music Show: Plant, Nurture, Grow, was a stunning celebration of our little ones. After proudly describing each piece of artwork to their families, students performed with confidence. Freethinking was woven throughout as they improvised, embellished, and interpreted the music. Bravo! Click here to see pictures of this event.

Tickets Now Available for the Spring Musical!

The MPA Theatre Department invites you to attend Pippin on April 27, 28, and 29 at 7 PM in the Nicholson Center. Led by the charismatic Leading Player, the cast will tell the story of Pippin, a young prince who longs to find passion and adventure in his life. Pippin struggles to decide whether he should settle down and pursue a peaceful life or continue to make magic with the dazzling troupe of performers. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors, and $10 for adults, and can be purchased here.

Summer Joy With the Teachers They Love

by Heather Mastel, Drama Teacher

One of the reasons I love teaching drama is how it resonates with children—there is movement, humor, and creativity. It also teaches collaboration, communication, empathy, reflection, and problem solving skills for creative challenges. I am excited to bring these learning opportunities to Summer at MPA! Children in Beyond Drama Class will create their own short play, while Beyond Acting! gives Lower School students the chance to design, write, and choreograph. The One Act Drama Camp will challenge Middle School students to rehearse and perform a one-act performance in just one week. We will also go see Shrek, Jr. and tour the Guthrie Theatre! I’m excited to have many of your students on campus with me this summer!

For more information and to register for any of these or other summer classes or Panther Camp weeks, visit moundsparkacademy.org/summer

The Importance of Creativity in the Technological Age

On January 11 at MPA Talks, MPA parent and Director and Professor of the University of Minnesota School of Music, Dr. Michael Kim, presented “Creativity and the Fine and Liberal Arts in the 21st Century” to the Mounds Park Academy community. See below for a Q&A with him, based on the same topic.

In schools today, there is a strong emphasis on STEM education. Why is it important to focus on STEAM instead?

Today in our schools and in our public discourse, we are increasingly focused on the importance of students developing skills in and experience with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM. Indeed, technology is now a major part of our society, and technological advancements have progressed rapidly.

Given the pace and pervasiveness of technology-driven changes, however, some of the most important skills for students to acquire are flexibility and adaptability. Our children will need to adjust to ever-changing times and possess qualities and skills that are the focus of a strong liberal arts education. So we really need to focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics), not just STEM, as is the case at MPA. My family and I love the focus on creativity at MPA and that the school engages students in the visual and performing arts at every academic level. As an educator myself, I believe it’s not enough to just foster an appreciation for the arts. But rather to guide students in developing their own artistic skills and to provide opportunities for them to explore, create, and express their ideas through art, performance, and music.

Why is a liberal arts education so important in our technology-driven world?

We live in an age where computers and technology can complete critical functions better, faster, and cheaper in all areas of life. We even have robotic nurses that can help diagnose and treat patients. So how do we stay relevant in a world where even business magnate, engineer, and inventor Elon Musk calls artificial intelligence our biggest existential threat? I believe that is by focusing on creativity, empathy, and the qualities that define our humanity; qualities, skills, and insights developed through the liberal arts and integrating the arts wherever possible in a cross-disciplinary way, as they do at MPA.

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