MEF Showcases Performing, Fine Arts

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Tristan Caro

Tristan Caro, Opinion Editor

Moraga community members flocked to the Rheem Theater on May 23rd to view an exhibition of student work created in programs funded in part by the Moraga Education Foundation (MEF).

The main objective of the MEF showcase, according to MEF president Diana Obrand was to “thank our donors and to demonstrate where funds are going.” Obrand explained that the first MEF showcase was created to “pull together K-12.” Echoing Obrand’s thoughts in the opening speech of the night, Moraga Mayor Mike Metcalf said, “It’s good schools that people value most. It’s an investment, and I encourage you all to invest wisely.”

Ceramics, photography, art, woodcrafts, and sculptures from grades K-12 were on display in the lobby of the theater. However, the main attraction was the music presentation. The elementary school choir sang tunes familiar to Moraga student such as “The Hills of Moraga” and “Happy Trails”. During the recital of “The Hills of Moraga,” all students, even high school students, were invited to join in.

Following the elementary choir, the Campolindo Jazz Ensemble performed custom jazz tunes, in which every member soloed. Campolindo’s Drama Class presented “Stage Combat and Zombies,” exhibiting stage-fighting abilities, and when the smoke cleared, their zombie enactment skills. Campolindo drama teacher Jamie Donohoe explained that the stage-fighting presentation was to “give the community a taste of what we’re doing.”

Campolindo Chamber singers received a long round of applause for performing “Still The One,” “Princess of China,” and “Life in Moraga Town.”

After another round with the Jazz Ensemble, the Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School Symphonic Band presented excerpts from the “Firebird” by Igor Stravinsky. This powerful classical piece was accompanied by an art slideshow put together by JM art teacher Karen Wesler portraying student’s interpretations of the song through various art forms.

Metcalf also stressed the importance of a well rounded education, and how MEF was helping not only students in the classroom, but also on the sports fields, in the art studios, and in the music rooms. This, he said, was “essential” to a well rounded education. In addition, Metcalf also stressed that the high property values of Moraga directly correlate to schools with the high test scores.

This is the 4th annual MEF Showcase, and the first at the Rheem Theater.