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Choir, band to perform traditional and diverse songs at concert

by Caitlin Marks-Chockley and Matt Haggard/Staff Writers

As the “most wonderful time of the year” is just weeks away, many families have put up their holiday cheer and many people are getting ready for holiday music. Luckily, GC’s choir program is putting on an annual Christmas concert on Dec. 15. All choirs are going full force learning new songs as the concert is drawing closer.

Choir members discussed what their favorite part of the preparations includes. Ivy Rowe, 12 stated, “I’m looking forward to all the choirs getting together and singing a piece at the end. We do it for every concert for Christmas.” Emma Roberts, 11, stated, “I am most looking forward to being able to show off the talent the choir has gained since the fall concert.” Sarah Going, 11, said, “Performing with everyone is the best part of the concert.”

Rowe went on to say, “For Madrigal, we usually sing two songs from the dinners for the Christmas concert. We don’t know what two songs we will be performing yet but that is decided as a choir which two songs we are going to do for the Christmas concert.” As the public is welcome to attend the concert, many familiar Christmas songs will be sung for all to follow along. “We are performing Christmas songs we have known since we were young and some very hard Christmas songs,” said Roberts.

As many classics will be played at the concert, there is one that Roberts believes everyone will enjoy the most. “I think the audience will like “Hallelujah” most; it is a very traditional song, and I think it sounds very good.” Rowe stated, “We have a Christmas melody prepared, that I think the audience will enjoy the most because they will actually know those songs.” Going continued, saying, “I think they will like our final song with all choirs joined.”

As the holiday season is acclaimed as the “most wonderful time of the year,” many can agree that it is also one of the busiest times of the year. For the choir program, there is no exception. “I think our choir is very well prepared for the upcoming concert,” Roberts said. Meanwhile, Going stated, “We are very well prepared for the madrigal dinners, not so much the Christmas concert”. As the annual Madrigal dinner is just days away, all choirs are set to participate, sing and or serve in the upcoming spectacle. Along with the hard-pressed practicing for the dinner, the Christmas concert is full of holiday classics that all are familiar with.

When asked to describe in three words how the choirs are preparing for the concert, Rowe stated “Madrigal is hardworking, social, and we have commitment. We don’t want to sound bad the night of the show, so we do everything we can to make sure the signs we sing are almost PERFECT! If not, absolute perfection.” Roberts said “Strongly, hard, fast” with Going saying, “Everyone (is) working hard.”

 

GC bands have also been working hard ahead of the band/choir concert. “I know our group is well prepared because we have practiced the songs and perfected them a lot and they are becoming really good. We can still keep getting better, though, because there is always stuff for us to get better at and the music will be near-perfect for the concert,” said Dakota Atkinson, 11.

With not even a month away, the band is definitely putting in some time to prepare. “The songs we are playing do provide several challenges that we are improving upon each time we practice,” said Elyse Allender, 9.

“Every year we do great and put all of our hearts into creating joy,” said Carson Burks, 10.

Not only will a lot of classics be played at the concert but so will some more advanced songs that the band has worked really hard to prepare. “Our group is performing “Ukrainian Bell Carol,” “The First Noel,” and “An American Christmas,” said Isaac Kottlowski, 11.

This Christmas concert will offer some diverse choices. “We are mostly performing medleys of Christmas songs and I believe our theme for this year’s music is music around the world. I also believe we will have some original Christmas music and some jazz medleys for the concert played by our jazz bands,” Atkinson added.

“I think the song that the audience will enjoy the most is A Festival Christmas Celebration,’ which all three of our concert bands will be playing together and will be full of Christmas songs in the medley. This piece is full of energy and life and brings all of the bands together for one great piece,” Atkinson said.

With a lot on their plate, most people can tell students are putting in the effort to get everything performance-ready. “Every musician is hardworking, diligent, and primed for our concerts. Our group is very eager to see what every band and choir has to offer,” Kottlowski stated.

When asked what she would be looking forward to for the concert, Allender said, “I’m probably looking forward to performing with the choir the most. As a freshman, I’ve never done that before and I think it is going to be really cool.”

So are they prepared? “We just keep playing the music over and over to make sure we fix our mistakes and keep perfecting our music to our greatest ability,” Atkinson added.

 

Powerful film addresses social concerns

by Halle Wynn/Staff Writer

Full of emotion and heart-warming moments, The Hate U Give describes one sixteen-year-old’s life and two substantially different worlds. As the story develops, this eye-opener movie brings out the issue of social inequality and crime in today’s society.

Amandla Stenberg acting as Starr Carter is locked between two worlds, the poor and the wealthy. The main character, Starr has been attending a private school called Williamson for six years and has maintained a reputation as a successful student. When the school bell rings at the end of the day, Starr releases herself from her preppy school life and travels back into reality.

In the beginning, Starr attends a party where she reconnects with her childhood friend, Khalil. After the party, Khalil offers Starr a ride home. After failing to signal while changing lanes, the two get stopped by a police officer.

The officer makes Khalil wait outside while he goes and checks his vehicle information. After reaching down into his car to check to see if Starr is content, Khalil is shot and killed by the officer.

After the tragic death of her friend, Starr exhibits signs of post-traumatic stress. Trying to speak up for Khalil’s death, Starr struggles to obtain a voice going against the police brutality that she witnessed.

Law enforcement tries to blame the killing on other factors, but Starr is the only one who knows the truth. Encouraging Starr to take a stand for justice, her friends and family comfort and support her.

Director George Tillman Jr recreates Angie Thomas’s novel with this drama-packed film. Not only has Tillman directed The Hate U Give, but also The Longest Ride, Faster and the powerful biography, Notorious. In addition, Tillman is known for his directing skills by exaggerating even the simplest of scenes with dramatic lines and lots of action.

The Hate U Give features many relatable moments, focused around today’s society as well as today’s music. The movie’s soundtrack includes “DNA” by Kendrick Lamar, “Everybody” by Logic and much more. The music contributes to the movie by expanding the audience’s emotions with all the action-packed scenes.

Amandla Stenberg presents this tremendous character who pulls the audience’s attention to her by fully expressing her emotions. The Hate U Give has hit the billboards hard and opened eyes to the topic of racial justice. In the end, The Hate U Give leaves viewers speechless as they exit movie theaters.

 

Coach Profile: Aaron Smith

by Halle Wynn/Staff Writer

As the flag drops and the gun fires off to signal the start, Coach Aaron Smith becomes anxious about his team winning the race. At Yorktown’s Jim Leffler Invitational, Smith watched Parker Niemeier, 12, finish third and give GC a second place finish in the invite. Smith coaches the men’s varsity cross country team and teaches in the math department.

As a coach, Smith has developed close bonds with those on his team. Conner Kinnaman, 11, is a cross country team captain. Kinnaman said, “We’re like a family; we even call Coach our dad sometimes just because it makes him uneasy.”

Team captain, Parker Niemeier, 12, has been involved in cross country for four years now and does not look forward to saying goodbye at the end of the year.  Niemeier said, “Smith always has a hard time saying goodbye to the seniors, and before every single race he shakes every runner’s hand and wishes them good luck which for me personally means a lot.”

Honesty and empathy are two key factors in coaching.  Tyler Osborn, 10, said Smith, “is honest with you telling you what he thinks that you did that can be improved.”

Over the years, Smith has found that coaching requires dedication and focus. Kinnaman added, “Coach is the reason I am the runner I am. He dedicates himself to the betterment of his runners. He keeps us in check, but also has fun with us along the way. He’s the best coach you could ask for.”

Although Smith likes to have fun, he always works hard and attempts to find new runners. Niemeier said, “He always makes an effort to get the whole team to go over to junior high and recruit 8th graders for next years season and during summer conditioning he really focuses on each runner’s individual abilities and focuses on them and basically makes the most out of what he has.”

When not occupied with teaching, Smith can be found attending sporting events, spending time with his family or exploring the wonders of nature. “I have three friends that I met at a Bible study, and we like to go to sporting events, national parks, and we have all played on the same slow pitch softball team.”

Smith and his friends may have played softball together, but the cross country will always remain as his favorite sport. Smith’s team has started the season out with a great ordeal of success. The team has placed fifth twice and seventh place once so far in the year.

“Live life to the fullest” is a very popular quote, but Smith sees things differently. “I recently came up with my own quote, ‘A man is made in the mundane.’ With teaching math and coaching cross country, I do two things most people don’t like: math and running. Most people live for just the exciting parts of life which are very few and far between. Most of our life is spent in the mundane. If we work hard and enjoy those times, we will be much better off.”

Prom preparations under way for ‘Enchanted Forest’ evening

by Hailey Dodds/Staff Writer

Peyton Bousman, 11, displays the hair style she will likely sport at Prom.

Greenfield Central students are preparing for yet another wonderful night of Prom, the occasion that has students talking, and posting about, for months before and after. The promposals get more creative every year.  Brooke Mills, 12, was asked by a Mount Vernon senior, Kameron Sergent, with a Harry Potter theme. There were vintage suitcases and a cage with a white owl inside. Inside the cage were notes asking her to prom. Brooke accepted the promposal.

           Peyton Bousman, 11, was asked by Cory Charbeneau, 12, with the help of GC Theatre members, considering both Peyton and Corey are theatre members. Peyton also accepted the promposal. GC senior Christopher Churchill asked Delonie Blake, 10, with her favorite candies and roses. Delonie had no problem accepting Chris’ promposal.

Before the night of festivities and couples wearing gorgeous dresses and handsome suits, reservations need to be made, outfits need to be bought, and possibly the most stressful part of all for the ladies, is hair and makeup.

Mills and Sergent plan on attending GC prom in dark purple and black. According to Brooke, she was “going for something big.” She “saw the purple and black and absolutely fell in love.” Bousman and Charbeneau have picked to wear gold and black. When shopping for a dress, Peyton “stumbled upon it by accident.” She found her dress in January. Her dress is a two piece cream and black dress. Churchill and Blake have agreed on a combination of yellow, white, and pink for their colors.

As far as reservations go, Mills and Sergent have picked a uniquely different choice of restaurant- Waffle House. Bousman and Charbeneau have decided to go to Buca di Beppo. Blake and Churchill will be going to an undecided place.

This will be Mills’ second time attending prom at Greenfield, her first with Mount Vernon. Mills says, “I think it will be fun. I’ll get to meet some new people including Kameron’s friends.” It is also Bousman’s and Charbeneau’s first time going to prom, an anticipated date for most juniors.

Class scheduling continues

by Adrian Lotshaw

Photo Caption: Mrs. Sherri Foster talks with a GC student about her schedule.

Class scheduling for the current freshman, sophomores, and juniors started Monday, Feb. 6. The counselors are calling students in during their enrichment block. If the student does not have an enrichment block then they will be called down during a different class period.

Kim Kile, head of the Greenfield Central High School counseling department, says that there are mandatory classes that each grade level has to have. The classes you have to have are English, math, science, social studies, physical education, and health. You will take these classes until they meet the requirements for the diploma you are wanting to earn.

There are new classes that are being offered here at the high school says Sherri Foster, another counselor at the high school. These classes are AP Art History, AP Computer Science Principles, Web Design, Principles of Business Management, Principles of Marketing, and Honors Geometry.

Saylor Leal, 9, is planning on doing Human Body Systems (HBS), ACP Chemistry, and Radio and TV. Leal hopes to be joining an extracurricular activity sometime next year.

David Lopez, 11, plans on attending Pre-Cal, Jazz Band, and psychology. He is planning on doing marching band and indoor winds as an extracurricular activity for this coming up year.
Zach Perkins, 9, says, “I am looking forward to the new AP Computer Science Principles and the Web Design classes.” Perkins is wanting to take those classes for his dream to be a businessman.

Personality Profile: IUPUI student heads #SanctuaryCampus movement

by Erick Morales/Staff Writer

Caption: Hector Morales speaks with the IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar.

Hector Morales, an IUPUI student from Greenfield, became alarmed at the remarks that Donald Trump had made about minorities during the 2016 Presidential campaign.

Morales organized a walkout in his college and gathered a large following of students to walk alongside him. He told people to spread the word by using #SanctuaryCampus on Twitter. Many other schools were participating, too. It was not his idea, but he organized it in his campus.

President Donald Trump has been known to make controversial comments towards minorities. The movement was made to make IUPUI a Sanctuary, or a safe place for immigrants, LGBT, people of color, or any minority. It ensured that students will be more open and accepting and to protect immigrants from major changes that Trump might make to the DACA Act, Consideration for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The DACA Act gives immigrated minors a chance for a work permit and protection from deportation.

Hector lives like any college student; he works, pays bills, and he works again. His actions, however, separate him from the norm. He organized and planned the walkout alongside other major campuses.

He went online and made a Google Forum and asked people to sign up for the walk out using #SanctuaryCampus. Only about a hundred or so people signed up, but once he got to the campus over 400 students arrived. The walkout reached their goal and they got to talk to the Chancellor to help make changes to benefit students.

The walkout was to increase awareness to stop discrimination, but mostly it was to help immigrants. After the walkout, the university responded, saying administrators would closely monitor actions taken regarding the DACA Act and any proposed changes to the policy. Hector described the movement, saying “Basically, it was more about a statement to tell the President that America is a diverse country, and any rule- any bill that anyone tries to discredit that America is a diverse country, we are going to fight.”

This movement had a huge impact, according to Morales.  “That day over 42 universities became sanctuary campuses. We were nationally all over the news,” he said. Yale and Harvard were also a part of the Sanctuary Campus movement, along with several other schools.

This, of course, got a lot of exposure. “Even Bill O’Reilly ( a Fox News personality) was talking about it.” Morales said. “Over 136 campuses were involved. This is considered one of the biggest walkouts that we have seen in the 21st century as far as university walkouts is concerned.”
Morales was the face of the walkout and personally talked to the Chancellor of IUPUI. They are working with IUPUI to make school safer for students. IUPUI plans to make the campus safer are still in development and administrators will release information as time goes on. Morales said that this’ll ensure protection and the well-being of minority college students.

Once there’s an opinion, there’s bound to be backlash. Morales said, “There were a lot of negative tweets, but there was a lot of people who didn’t show their faces. I think they were actually helping us to increase popularity via #SanctuaryCampus. They helped us a lot.”

Being a minority himself, a legal Mexican immigrant, he said felt he was the voice for minorities who felt like outcasts or unwelcome in a campus environment. He wants their voices to be heard and understood.

His parents, Maria and Hector Senior, support him, stating, “We are very proud of our boy. He will soon do many great things for our world. We just know it!” His siblings also agree. Emily said, “He’s really brave. To stand up and say something like that takes courage.”

In the end, Morales had only this to say: “The Caucasian community or any person that voted for Trump, we respect. At the end of the day everyone that was involved was aware that they respected the election. That’s what democracy is and looks like. We respect the fact that he’s our President. What we don’t respect is the hate speech of his campaign.”