At the last Convo of the school year for seniors, the Arts at St. Margaret’s recognized students who have maintained their commitment to an arts discipline and are committed to pursue this art discipline at the university level for the next four years.
Upper School theater teacher Dan Pacheco, who organized the inaugural event, said, “We want our community to know how extraordinary an achievement it is to be accepted to these art schools. To put this in perspective, these students had to be accepted to schools twice. One acceptance was purely academic, for the school as whole. The second acceptance was to the art school within the larger university after portfolio or audition reviews These auditions and portfolios … are the culmination of years of hard work, training, focus, and drive.”
The students recognized were:
Jack Aitken, who began his acting career in the Lower School and went on to appear in over 17 shows and many more concerts here at St. Margaret’s. Additionally, he has performed with Center Stage outside of school and Stage Door Manor in the summers. His work has been recognized by the Cappies organization and the Macy’s awards and he has competed and won awards in musical theatre competitions. Jack has committed to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he plans to spend the next four years training to be a professional actor.
Tati Cloobeck has performed in over 40 plays, musicals, and concerts at St. Margaret’s. In addition to maintaining her focus on her actors’ training in school, Tati dedicates time to training outside of school through organizations like the Interlochen Center for the Arts, UCLA’s musical theatre summer institute, and Carnegie Mellon’s summer drama program. She was recognized by the prestigious Macy’s Awards as a best actress nominee and is currently in the running for the OC Artist of the Year Award. Tati has committed to The University of Michigan’s School of music, theatre, and dance where she will be training to be a professional actress.
Tommy Colglazier has been performing at St. Margaret’s since he became a Tartan in sixth grade. He is focused on his craft both in school and out of school and in both plays and musicals, performing many leading roles. He has spent summers at UCLA’s musical theatre summer institute and the University of Michigan’s MPulse program through their school of music, theatre, and dance. Tommy will be attending the University of Southern California’s school of dramatic arts in the fall as he pursues his career in the theater.
Espen Garner plans to major in product design and minor in theater technology at Stanford University. Visual Art Department Chair Jesse Standlea said that Espen excels in many areas, and Espen recently brought his range of interests together in the creation of unique products for his AP 3D design portfolio. A highlight of his functional designs includes the digitally designed chair he fabricated, and which is now on display as part of the annual Barbara Nelson PreK-12 Art show. Espen has been involved with technical theater at St. Margaret’s, every year since grade 4, has worked on 21 productions and was recently stage manager for the production Songs for a New World.
Ryan Krall has committed to study animation at Loyola Marymount University this fall. His animation project Huck’s Game was an official selection of the All-American HS Film Festival and his animated short film The Rodney Show has earned a Gold Key Award in the Scholastic Art & Writing competition. Animation requires not only an incredible amount of artistic study in movement, shape, and form but additionally requires the artist to be an adept screenwriter, director, and editor as well. According to cinematic arts teacher Karen Bennett, Ryan’s leadership, hard work, patience, and artistic vision will lead him to a brilliant future in animation.
Marie Byun plans to attend the University of California, Irvine, where she has chosen a major in art. According to art teacher Phillip Griswold, she is willing to push boundaries and take risks, but she also has an affinity for bringing her artwork to a high level of finish. Marie often explores or experiments with various media, sometimes in the same artwork. Marie has earned numerous Scholastic Awards, including Silver and Gold Keys, as well as a nomination for OC Artist of the Year.
Claire Ahn has been accepted to Cornell, and she has chosen a major in design. Mr. Griswold shared that Claire is an artist with a well-developed vision, which she brings to life through her talent and great dedication to her craft. Her beautiful AP portfolio was an incredible body of work, and she has garnered other recognitions for her art, including Scholastic Silver and Gold Keys several years running. Claire is a semifinalist in the competitive OC Artist of the Year contest for visual arts. Claire’s artwork was previously selected as our very own Illumination Award as well. In addition to drawing, painting, and printmaking, Claire has completed work in textiles and design.
Sophia Wang has been accepted to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), widely regarded as one of the finest art programs in the U.S. Since stepping into her first art course in the Upper School, she has carried her vision far into new possibilities in every project. Sophia is an artist whose work not only has its own distinct look, but she has her own methodology in making it. Her digital paintings are a rich tapestry of color and form woven into a unique visual language. She has won several Scholastic Art Awards several years running, including Silver and Gold keys.
The Convo concluded with a live dance presentation featuring six dancers performing choreography by junior Caroline Kinsey. Dance Program director Kirsten Harvey said, “The senior dancers were so grateful to have a moment to really shine in front of their peers before the year is over.”
After the event, Upper School Principal Dr. Jeneen Graham said, “What a wonderful event! This celebration of our Arts programs and our dedicated professional community members and students was incredibly special.”