“Let there be Light” at St. Gregory School

We talked to Principal Craig Kittelson about the impact of enhancing their school theatre.

WHAT: The Calgary Catholic Education Foundation (CCEF) funding was used to purchase a set of LED theatre lights to enhance curriculum and presentation quality at St. Gregory School. This has long been a dream project for our school and with the generosity of the CCEF, it became a reality sooner than we thought possible. Because we received half the amount required to buy a full set of lights (eight lights and supporting equipment), we purchased only four lights and the supporting equipment. For our major theatre productions, we rent four other lights to work in tandem with the new ones. This was a successful compromise until such time as we can purchase the other four lights.

WHY: St. Gregory School has a very successful arts program with the total student population being involved in art, drama, musical theatre, instrumental music, choir (option) and/or Celebration Choir (extra-curricular). In addition, liturgies, a talent show, our open house and various school-wide presentations provide even more opportunities for our students to feel empowered to show leadership in our community.

HOW: During the 2015/2016 school year there were over 100 students actively involved in live performances. The school musical, “Seussical Jr.” was a five month project involving at least 75 students and 6 teachers. Five performances took place in March 2016. This provided an opportunity for our entire school community, as well as guest elementary schools to benefit from quality artistic talent. The show was a huge success. In May 2016, St. Gregory hosted the school talent show, involving another 25 students and amazing talent. The students were thrilled to perform under the lights for the entire school. Three teachers were involved with this event. As part of the Drama 9 technical theatre unit, students were taught how to put up, take down and set stage lights in the classroom to prepare them to run the lights for school events.

COMMUNITY FEEDBACK:

  • “…The dance, choreography, music, lighting, sound, etc. were sensational!  And the fact that you had so many other areas of the program working with you to produce sets, costumes, etc. must have really pulled the school together. Thank you for all you do for our children!” –Peter Teppler, Trustee, Wards 6 & 8, CCSD
  • “I just wanted to pass along some congratulations to you, your team and every student involved in the production. The kids were so well-prepared and did a fabulous job. Their costumes were beautifully and thoughtfully made, the lighting was well planned and executed, the dancing was well-rehearsed, the acting beautifully animated and the singing very well done! And the students ran the whole thing. Very impressive.” – Bethany Yon (Routledge), BMus, MMus, audience member

STUDENT FEEDBACK:

  • “The best part about performing under the lights is that you can’t see the audience so you don’t get nearly as nervous.” – Alice, Grade 9, Gertrude in Seussical Jr.
  • “My favorite part about the play was when we entered the gym for the first time with all the stage set up and lights on. It was so cool. It made all our months of work seem worth it.” – Bianca, Grade 9, Bird Girl in Seussical Jr.
  • “Walking into the gym and seeing the lights shine across the room made the [talent show] an even greater event as the Gators came out and rocked their performances, showing us things we had no idea they could even do.” – Christopher, Grade 8, news article in school newspaper assignment.

HOW THE CCEF HELPED: Thank you very much to the CCEF for this $4,000 grant. The whole student body ultimately benefitted from the addition of stage lights to our events. The best part is that this equipment will be used over and over again and will become part of the culture of St. Gregory School.

Learn more about donating to the CCEF to help fund meaningful projects and school enhancements that positively impact Calgary Catholic students.