Student Performances Dominate in December

Newburgh Free Academy students enjoyed a busy week of extra-curricular activities with several community appearances as well as a full-cast production of the Nutcracker. On Wednesday, December 7th Torches on the Hudson opened their doors to a dozen veteran organizations, local government officials and the public for a morning in tribute to the attacks on Pearl Harbor. 2,396 people died in the infamous blaze that kick-started American involvement in World War II.

Members of the NFA Madrigals singing group under the direction of Karen Sheehy.

The NYMA colorguard opened the cermony and the military academy marching band lead the crowd in some patriotic songs.  They stood always at attention as a proud public looked on during their appearance at the event.

Over the weekend, The Nutcracker dazzled on the NFA stage. The hour-and-a-half production featured over 100 students and was directed and choreographed by Mandy Clifford. Rebecca Patsalos, Bri Levy and Jessica Newcomb gave great performances in leading roles as the glamorous Snow Queen, iconic Clara and the lovely Sugar Plum Fairy.

Rebecca Patsalos, Bri Levy, Jessica Newcomb

All of NFA's dance students were showcased in the performance, all skill levels and multiple styles of dance were utilized in the performance. Mother Ginger played by Gaelen McCartney was wonderful in a show-stopping scene that featured 12 of the male performers in a playful interpretive dance involving leap frog.

The students came together beautifully to bring the magic of the Nutcracker to the NFA stage. All facets of the show were intimately bound to the ongoing support of staff, students, administration and multiple departments school-wide. Karen Stafford's fashion classes helped with costumes, Allison Marshall took on a role as student director, David Garcia and Kara Goldin took on the back-stage manager responsibilities and the tech team was great in their supporting role backstage—a combination of a dozen students and teachers working closely together to ensure the magic of the moment was not lost.

Upcoming: You can check out the Winter Concert at NFA on December 20th at 7PM.

Nutcracker rehearsal photos thanks to Kerry Butrick -  Media Relations Specialist for the Newburgh Enlarged City School District. Want to see your school on Happy Hudson Valley? We're always looking for a Happy Headlines featuring the kids of the Hudson Valley. Send your messages to us and let us know what you're doing! Check out our submissions page to see what we're looking for.