CLICK ON PHOTO FOR HIGHER RES VERSION
Above, members of the 2012 Jazz Combo, a subset of the Skyline Jazz Band, L to R Ella Pearson, Jeremy Kaetzel, David MacMillan, Andrew Wong-Rolle, Zach Seidl, Dontrell Mayfield, Jeff Seidl. The full Jazz Band, which has won honors at the Reno Jazz Festival the last several years, will perform at June 9th's Skyline Gold. (Photo by Stephen Woo.)
Please Join Us Saturday, June 9
Contribution $40 per person
CONTRIBUTE & RESERVE SEATS THROUGH EVENTBRITE
CONTRIBUTE & RESERVE SEATS BY MAIL (PDF)
TICKETS: $40 (donation) at skylinegold.eventbrite.com
(Oakland, CA – May 22, 2012) Skyline High School Performing Arts will present a June 9 performance on the Skyline campus to honor performing arts alumni and celebrate the high school's 50th birthday. The event, titled Skyline Gold: A 50th Anniversary Showcase, will feature performances by more than a hundred current and former performing arts students. Money raised through the event will help fund Skyline's well-respected performing arts program, which has provided high-level education and training to Oakland teens since the school opened in 1962.
Tickets to Skyline Gold are available through the school's PTSA Performing Arts Committee for a requested donation of $40 per person. Tickets may be reserved and additional contributions made at skylinegold.eventbrite.com.
The June 9 event will be held on campus at Skyline High School, in the Rawley T. Farnsworth Theater in the Selmer Berg Auditiorium. A reception will begin at 6 p.m. in the breezeway outside the theater, with the performance inside at 7:30. The school is located at 12250 Skyline Boulevard, in Oakland, with parking available on campus adjacent to the theater building.
Alumni performers will represent a number of graduating classes, ranging from vocalist Pam Adams (class of '69) to several members of the class of 2011. Other alum performers (in many cases performing professionally today) will include Ethan Lavelle (class of '02), Alexis Johnson (class of '03), Will F. Chapman (class of '04), DeAndre Johnson (class of '05), Jaredt Robinson (class of '06), Nick Johnson (class of '07), Donald Antoine (class of '08), and many more. About 50 former members of the school's advanced choir, Voices of the Sky, will perform a song together under the direction of former Skyline vocal teacher Everett Baines. Class of '11 Dance Production students will reprise one of their most popular numbers. Former theater students and teachers will be onstage for short pieces, ranging from a reflection from a former Skyline drama teacher (Virginia Buckner, at Skyline 1983-1991) to short excerpts from Hamlet (Paul Pugh and Donald Antoine, class of '08) to stand-up comedy (Robin Higgins, class of '06).
The show will also include performances by current Skyline students who are members of the Jazz Band, Advanced Choir, Dance Production, and the cast of the 2012 spring musical, Across the Universe.
Says Jan Hunter, Skyline drama teacher since 1996, "Our Skyline Performing Arts grads go out into the world and make successful careers -- some as actors, musicians, dancers, directors, and technicians, and others as attorneys, teachers, CEOs, and stockbrokers. We're so excited about welcoming them back to the Skyline stage, where they got their start on the roads they travel today. When I put out the call asking graduates to perform, I was inundated by enthusiastic response – and some of our wonderful performing arts alumni will travel long distances to be here June 9."
Proceeds from the event will help support Skyline Performing Arts program costs as well as maintenance costs for the facility. The Farnsworth Theater was renovated a decade ago in a project spearheaded by the parents and teachers of the school's PTSA Performing Arts Committee. Funding came from hundreds of individual donations from Skyline alumni and supporters, and major gifts from several foundations including the Tom and Rita Hanks Family Trust. Tom Hanks, class of '74, is perhaps Skyline's most famous performing arts alumnus, though only one of hundreds who have enjoyed successful careers in the arts.
Says David Kahn, who was Co-chair of the Performing Arts Committee at the time of the facility renovation, "The theater is still an excellent performance laboratory that lets Skyline provide great training. But to keep it that way and prevent it from falling into disrepair again, we need to invest some money now. The sound system needs repair and enhancements, the stage curtains need attention after 10 years of hard use, some lighting instruments need replacement, and so forth. With district support gone, we also need to find a way to fund supplies like lighting gels and lamps, lumber, and paint. Program costs -- like royalties for musicals and plays, music rental, costs for guest artists and tickets for professional performances -- are also much harder to fund than they were ten years ago."
From the time Skyline High School first opened in 1962, it has maintained a reputation for academic excellence accompanied by strong extracurricular programs, particularly in the performing arts. Like all California public schools, though, especially those in poorer urban districts like Oakland, Skyline has struggled to maintain its excellence with diminished resources and crumbling facilities. Performing Arts has helped give the school a unique identity, has drawn students from all over the city who are interested in studying theater, music, dance, and media arts – and perhaps most important, has helped maintain the "titan spirit" that has brought much alumni support to the campus over the years.
Says Peter Seidl, President of Skyline's PTSA and parent of two 2012 graduating seniors, "It is absolutely clear to me that the excellent performing arts programs and the excellent academic programs go hand-in-hand. My sons, who will be attending Harvard and UCLA in the fall, certainly benefitted from the AP classes at Skyline. But being in the Jazz Band, performing for the Skyline community and beyond, winning honors at the Reno Jazz Festival -- that's where they really learned those character lessons, like commitment, persistence, confidence. For the sake of all the kids coming up, it's crucial that in these hard times Skyline's extraordinary music, theater, and dance programs be supported by the community."
Jan Hunter says, "Though Mr. Hanks can't attend this time, this show is one way of thanking him for his generosity now and over the years. Our students' success has often been inspired by his, and we think the very best way to show our gratitude is to show him how well our students are doing in the arts. He's such a cool, down-to-earth, true artist with a great heart; I just know that seeing professionals come out of this space gives him joy. And what we feel about Tom Hanks, we also feel about all the other alumni who have been so generous with money and support. Once a Titan, always a Titan. Skyline alumni keep this program alive."
Alumni and other supporters who wish to make contributions and reserve tickets may do so at skylinegold.eventbrite.com. Further information about the event may be found at Skylinegold/skylinegoldhome.html, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PTSA Performing Arts Committee
Skyline High School
12250 Skyline Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94619