An Independent School • Grades 5-12
Get inspired by the arts this winter!
Get inspired by the arts this winter!

by Andrew Krus, director of performing and visual arts

In November, Lakeside faculty and selected staff members spent a professional development day visiting local businesses, government agencies, and organizations to learn about what skills and habits of mind they value in employees. (Read Bernie Noe's update for a full explanation of what we're accomplishing with these visits).

Among the themes that emerged from my group's visit was that employers are searching for people who are creative, collaborative, and empathetic.  These are the 'soft skills' crucial to success in the modern workplace. In their minds, it matters little what college a person attended or what their degree was in. Instead, the best indicators for success were engaging effectively in a team setting and creative problem solving. There's no better place to develop these skills than in the arts classroom at Lakeside, where we strive to teach students creativity, empathy, and resilience.

Winter is a busy time in the arts program at Lakeside. We have a series of performances, festivals, and exhibitions that put all this learning on display. Here's what we have cued up for you:

The Upper School musical, "Newsies" runs for four performances, Wednesday, Jan. 30 through Saturday, Feb 2.  The musical is based on the 1992 film and was inspired by the actual Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City. It's a perfect selection for a time when youth-led movements are making their presence known across the country. All performances are free of charge and start at 7 p.m. in St. Nicholas Hall at the Upper School.  

The Upper School Midwinter Arts Show will open on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 2:15 p.m. in the Pigott Family Art Center Gallery. The gallery will be open from 6-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30, Thursday, Jan. 31 and Friday, Feb. 1 – enjoy the show before watching the musical! You'll see work from students in all of the visual arts classes, including painting and drawing, sculpture, ceramics, and photography. This is a great opportunity to see how far students have progressed in their creative abilities. Then make sure to come back for Arts Fest at the end of the year, and see again how much they have grown!

On Tuesday, Feb. 6, Middle School band and orchestra students will be performing in a flash festival during the school day. We'll be livestreaming the event on Facebook from 8:40 to 11 a.m. – we hope you'll tune in! You don't need to have a Facebook account to watch, and the video will be available on Facebook after the performance.

The Middle School musical "Guys and Dolls" will have two evening performances, Wednesday, Feb. 13 and Thursday, Feb. 14. The "epitome of a classic American musical," as drama teacher Jenny Estill remarks, "Guys and Dolls" is based on Damon Runyon's stories from the 1920s and 1930s about characters of the New York underworld, lightly updated for middle school performers. The shows are free and take place at 7 p.m. in Evans Theater at the Middle School. 

The Upper School orchestra will perform at the University of Washington Orchestra Festival on Thursday Feb. 14 in Meany Hall at the University of Washington. The exact time slot of the performance has yet to be decided; please contact Concert Band Director Nse Ekpo at for more information. 

The Middle and Upper school choirs will be hosting the third annual choir festival Sing Fest, which will culminate a performance on Monday, March 18 in St. Nicholas Hall at 7 p.m. This is a collaborative choir experience involving Lakeside, Overlake, and Eastside Prep. Look for more information as we get closer to the date.

We hope to see you all at one or more of these winter events. Thank you and have a wonderful start to your new year!

Andrew Krus is director of performing and visual arts. You can reach him at 206-440-2915.