What's recently happened?
“Lion King Jr.” was a huge musical put together with the efforts of people of all ages. Director Sondra Davis made the show complete by teaching everyone the Swahili language that was sung throughout the entire performance. It is important for students to understand different cultures, and Davis did exceptionally well when putting time into teaching the language - she created a special moment for the team to learn something new and created a memory they could never forget.
The crowd packed the auditorium for all performances, some even giving a standing ovation. Watching everyone on stage was a beautiful sight to see because of how everyone got to act together and learn their roles. Working with children gave upperclassmen patience, hospitality, and new bonds. The effort of understanding individuals and one another's mistakes gave the play the whole essence of the story.
What's coming up?
Hammond Arts & Performance Academy (HAPA)'s favorite time of the year is slowly approaching. With holiday cheer every year, HAPA collectives host an event called “HAPA Holidays.” This event gives the students involved in any HAPA activity a chance to showcase their creativity. This includes people in fine arts, band, dance, and other mediums. This time around it will be especially exciting with Hammond Central High School joining in on the fun as well.
On December 8 around 8 p.m., students will have a chance to express and present what they have been working on for everyone to see. It is an event full of talented students who’ve been consistently practicing to establish an enjoyable moment.
HAPA Holidays is a wonderful event where everyone gets to see each other's personal abilities shine bright. The event shows off all of the talent that everyone possesses. It's a beautiful experience for friends and family to watch and observe the many intelligent performers/creators. For the happiest of holidays, the students are proud to bring all another year of pure talent.
Aaron Downs is a highly educated fine arts, AP Art History, Intro to 2D Art, and Advanced 2D Art teacher at Hammond Morton Senior High School. Downs has taught several students over two years how to crochet, embroider, and sew. Many of his students have been inspired to keep making creations after taking his class. His information definitely has a hold on the students. Downs is an incredible teacher with helpful knowledge.
“My favorite part of HAPA is seeing students, faculty, and administration work together to come up with a spectacular event that everyone can enjoy and also participate in. Secondly, as a teacher, I am excited to show my students’ work and how committed they are in class. Most of all, it's about featuring them,” said Downs.
It's a memorable experience to staff and students as they get to represent themselves with everything they've been working towards for this time of year.
"One of my goals for HAPA Holidays is to enjoy the time with students, colleagues, faculty, and administration," Downs said. "This is the time I can see students for who they really are and how talented they are and see them shine like the amazing people they are.”
Morton is very appreciative of Downs, as he has pushed all of his knowledge onto his students to where they are now able to teach others around them how to create and think outside of the box. Downs is super supportive and helpful towards his students and only wants to see them grow from here. He has given students the opportunity to express themselves through art in many different ways.
Takiyah Townsend is a member of the choir group that will be performing for Morton's HAPA Holidays. Townsend will be performing "Siyahamba” and “Riu Riu Chiu" on December 8. She has been a consistent member for three years, continuously learning new techniques and gaining more experiences throughout her journey. Townsend is very dedicated to her work, making it very known that she is a wonderful singer. Her hard work throughout the years has definitely paid off. She truly has a powerful presence and guarantees an amazing show every time.
“I am participating in HAPA Holidays, singing in an intermediate choir,'' Townsend said.
Townsend encourages her team, as well as herself, to push each other to their fullest potential. She has a leader’s work ethic that boldly shows throughout her rehearsals.
“My favorite part about HAPA Holidays is being able to hear others sing and having the opportunity to participate myself," Townsend said.