Written by Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School

Late nights practicing and building sets. Early mornings painting, crafting, and sculpting. Extra hours spent sharpening their craft until they got it exactly right. That is what it takes to achieve excellence in the Fine Arts. Over the past several months, I have watched in excitement as our artists have done some pretty amazing things under the leadership of Fine Arts Director, Gordon Snyder.

The Middle & Upper School One Act shows played to a full house for both performances. The Upper School One Act was taken to the District Competition and received Superior ratings, and Caleb Gordon was awarded the All-Star Cast Award and Meg Paswaters the All-Star Crew Award. Jackson Englund was awarded Best in Show for his Solo, which is a great honor that TFA has only received four times in our history. We took 21 Individual Events to the festival, 13 of which were awarded Superior ratings and eight were awarded Excellent. Kendall Parmer and Andre Torres also received a perfect score from the judges on their duet. The Middle School shows head to District Competition this weekend.

The Steel Drum Band was invited to perform at the Marine Corps Ball at The Rosen Centre earlier this month and put on quite the show for Central Florida Marines. They have also been invited to welcome Gold Star families as they arrive in Orlando for a once-in-a-lifetime Disney experience on December 8 through Snowball Express. Our Concert Band will also play for these families at their gala later that same week. The Marching Band has earned many Superior ratings at their competitions and is now ranked in the top 20 bands in the 2A category in the state. Over Christmas break, both the Marching Band and the Steel Drum Band will travel to the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. The Marching Band will participate in a Regional-National Competition, be a part of the Liberty Bowl Parade, and will perform during halftime with the Four Tops. The Steel Drum Band will be playing as fans enter the Liberty Bowl during pre-game programming and will take part in the parade and competition as well.

The National Art Honor Society created a beautiful Christmas Mural in downtown Windermere. Their masterpiece was unveiled at the annual “Light Up Windermere” event earlier this month and will remain a staple of Christmas cheer on the side of the Vintage Realty building until the holiday season concludes.

Jackson Englund has received a seat in this year’s FMEA All-State Choir. This is a huge success not only for Jackson but for the TFA Upper School Choral Department. In Lower School, Addison Simms qualified for the All-State Choir and Emma Adams was chosen for the Regional Honors Choir.

Join me in congratulating the good work of all of our Fine Arts students and in thanking God for these many blessings. We hope to see you at our Middle & Upper School Visual Arts Winter Exhibits as well as the Lower School Christmas Program in the coming weeks!