Final Arts Night!

Students took to the stage on Friday, May 25th, for a culminating final Arts Night event that demonstrated all that they had learned in the performing arts throughout the year.

Millbrook's instrumental ensemble presented the opening act, performing various genres of music, including String of Pearls by Jerry Gray, Here Today by Brian Wilson, and I Am the Walrus by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Studio music students also delivered an excellent performance, which included an instrumental composed by the group.

The evening's hosts were public speaking students and included Sam Jones '20, Dixon Matthews '19, Noor Rahman '21, Noah Schwartz '20, and Nick Sosnow '21. They did an excellent job ensuring that the event ran smoothly and introduced all of the acts, including the acting performances that followed studio music.

"Students took on a new initiative this year, which highlighted Millbrook musicals from the past four years," said Director of Theater Elaine Lifter. Directed by VI former Nora Reynolds, who was very involved as an assistant director and performer throughout her Millbrook career, students performed scenes from each of the musicals while photos from the original Millbrook productions were displayed behind them. "A trip down memory lane, and a fun way for students to take on the challenge of reviving their old characters," said Ms. Lifter.

Students performed scenes from DogfightLittle Shop of HorrorsIn the Heights, and UrinetownImprovisation students also took to the stage, performing short scenes with audience-selected variables. 

Dance students also delivered compelling performances, ranging from video footage of a site-specific work executed by the choreography class, to work put together by students studying dance technique, to senior solos and the spring dance team.

"We intentionally withheld material from Arts Night in April, in an effort to showcase quality over quantity," said Director of Dance Leighann Kowalsky. "The result was a curated selection of well-rehearsed pieces that were fully costumed and well lit. I am proud of our dancers," she said. 

The student-run technical team was also diligent, ensuring that the right light fixtures were hung, focused, and able cast light correctly. "This task often takes hours of preparation for days before the performance actually occurs," said Ms. Kowalsky. "Students are given the real-world experience both on and off the stage."

The hard work of Millbrook's faculty and students was evident and the performances were enjoyed by all. 

"I thought this last Arts Night was spectacular," said Director of Instrumental Music Steve Siktberg. This was a special Arts Night for Mr. Siktberg, as he is retiring after a 17-year tenure at Millbrook, and students dedicated the event to him. He was surprised with a cake in the shape of a guitar, as well as a special performance by the Millbrook Singers of the Beatles' Hello, Goodbye.

"The students seemed to be performing at their best in honor of Steve," said Director of Vocal Music Joe Raciti. "The music was outstanding, but my favorite part was when everyone flooded onto the stage to give Steve a hug and congratulate him on his retirement. There was just so much love in the room."

It was certainly a special night for Mr. Siktberg and for our community. Congratulations to all of our students and faculty on their hard work and for delivering a fantastic final Arts Night! 

Click here to view photos from the event.