Visual and Performing Arts

Rossini Rotini Roundtable

By | Academic Excellence, High School, IB, Visual and Performing Arts | No Comments

There’s nothing like a shared love of music, food, and good humor. Our Grade 11 Diploma Programme music students held their own “Rossini Rotini Roundtable” a few weeks ago. Not having access to a stove didn’t slow them down. They improvised by using outdoor ed stoves and pots to cook Rotini in honor of their study of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle, which is one of the prescribed works for DP music.

No doubt that this is one of those, “Only at Riverstone” moments!



Preschoolers & High Schoolers Dabble in Drama

By | Academic Excellence, Elementary School, High School, IB, Leadership by Example, Visual and Performing Arts | No Comments

The following is reposted from the Preschool Class blog written by Meghan Sterling:

We’ve been dabbling in drama as another artistic option for expressing emotions. Using our bodies, faces, and a bit of voice we’ve been working on finding means of showing our feelings. Yesterday afternoon, the high school Diploma Programme Theater Arts students visited our classroom, spending time talking about and acting out different emotions. Our preschoolers acted a bit shy at first with these big kids but warmed up during an improv dramatic performance of The Three Bears. As the high schoolers demonstrated their artistic talents, the preschoolers identified which emotions were being exhibited. Before the high school students departed, the entire group came together to show their skills. As I named different feelings, kids both big and small called upon their acting talents to express these feelings. The shyness had definitely dissipated! The DP students agreed to return next week to help us act out another story.

We had a second, wonderful opportunity to watch dramatic expression in this morning’s presentation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” by Rivestone’s 2nd grade. Before the presentation, I asked the preschoolers to watch carefully for different emotions we might see. The 2nd grade certainly delivered, using their body language and voices to convey anger, silliness, surprise, love, sadness, and happiness. Later, over snack, the preschoolers discussed what they’d seen and how they knew which emotion was being expressed. These observations demonstrate the preschoolers’ growing ability to begin to “read” the dramatic language which will serve them well in their social interactions too.

Photography Contest Winners

By | Academic Excellence, Community & Service, Visual and Performing Arts | No Comments

The Elementary School Student Council Outdoor Education Committee is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Spring Break Photo Contest!

Students in every division, parents and teachers submitted over 100 pictures. Judged categories included: Scenery, Wildlife, People, Black and White; in conjunction with the Big Break Birding “Contest” there was also a Birds category.

Students on the Outdoor Education Committee as well as Riverstone Art teachers judged pictures with composition, focus, and story in mind; photographs can be viewed in the Elementary School. Thanks to everyone who participated and made this such a fun, community oriented event!!

1. Water Source (Peru) – Natalie P (Gr 10)
2. African Sun – Liebich Family
3. Tree in Central Park – Sophie B (Gr 5)

1. Soccer at Sunset (California) – Andy Johnson
2. Flys (Tanzania) – Carly L (Gr 10)
3. Peruvian Vendor – Natalie P (Gr 10)

1. Iguana (Mexico) – Susan Cole
2. Vicuna (Peru) – Natalie P (Gr 10)
3. Cheetah (Tanzania) – Liebich Family

Black and White
1. Child (Peru) – Natalie P (Gr 10)
2. Leaf (Hawaii) – Laura F (Gr 2)
3. Migration (Tanzania) – Liebich Family

1. Heron (Mexico) – Susan Cole
2. Secretary Bird (Tanzania) – Liebich Family
3. Parrot (Peru) – Natalie P (Gr 10)

**Best in Show was Natalie P’s Child in Black in White.

The Magic Flute

By | Academic Excellence, Elementary School, IB, Visual and Performing Arts | No Comments

The Kindergarten class has been studying the ways that we tell stories. To expand the discussion into their music class, the students studied The Magic Flute because opera is one of the ways that music tells stories. During a recent class day, the students watched the Metropolitan Opera performance of The Magic Flute and then created their own versions of the characters through creative movement.

As you can see by the photos, they really enjoyed themselves!


By | Academic Excellence, IB, Visual and Performing Arts | No Comments

Grade 4 had a hoedown today to celebrate the end of the year and their final unit about migrations. Each class learned five dances that have migrated from Europe into the American West. The Simple Square, Redwing, Virginia Reel, Korobuska, and the Troika are the dances that they worked on. It was a lot of fun, and takes a lot of energy to dance like that! Staff were standing around watching with big smiles on their faces, matching the looks on the students’ faces.

Mrs. DeLaney, their Music teacher, sends her congratulations to her students for giving her such a joyful end of year.

More pictures are posted on the school facebook page.

Riverstone Choir Performance at Rediscovered Books

By | Academic Excellence, IB, Visual and Performing Arts | No Comments

Although the size of the choir was a little smaller than usual because of the weekend schedule, the Riverstone combined Elementary and Middle/High School choirs performed beautifully at Rediscovered Bookshop a week ago on Saturday! An impromptu collaboration with the marimba player nearby made for a wonderful, crowd-pleasing ending to their performance.

Choir teacher, Laura DeLaney, treated the kids to Jamba Juice to celebrate the end of a wonderful inaugural year for Riverstone choirs. Thanks Laura!

The Sounds of Spring

By | Academic Excellence, IB, Visual and Performing Arts | No Comments

During their “How We Express Ourselves” Unit of Inquiry, Grade 4 students were challenged to compose a complex musical piece using pattern and story that would be performed on instruments they created themselves. The resulting song, titled “Circle of Spring,” used a rondo form and included sections that the composers referred to as elements of spring: a soccer game, kites and swings, a storm, and the Boise River.

Mrs. DeLaney guided the efforts to compose the song in music class whereas the instruments were created in Mr. Jay’s art class using found materials. Egg cartons, tubes, funnels, bottles, tape, rubber bands, and disposable trays never sounded so good! These wonderful creations produced sound by striking, plucking, blowing, or shaking.

This is a wonderful example of a Primary Years Programme Unit of Inquiry developed collaboratively between our two Grade 4 classroom teachers (Ms. Fitzharris and Mrs. Walker) and our Music and Art specialist teachers.

As a grand finale, the students performed “Circle of Spring” for parents. Bravo!

Joyful Noise

By | Academic Excellence, IB, Leadership by Example, Visual and Performing Arts | No Comments

During their library class, our Grade 1 students were entertained by the Middle School Drama Group. The group read selections from Joyful Noise, Poems for Two Voices. The book is a collection of poems that celebrate the insect world, from the short life of the mayfly to the story of a fire fly.

The younger students learned that as the performers changed the rhythms, volume, and inflections of their voices, the emotions that the viewer felt differed. The same poem might sound funny, sad, frantic, or happy depending on how it was presented. The first graders just wrapped up a unit on poetry in which they read their own poems to the entire Elementary School and they are about to start a unit on insects after spring break. What a great transition!

Thanks to Mrs. Tabb for coming up with this great idea and thanks to our Drama Club members!

What Would Your World Be Like in the Absence of Sound?

By | Academic Excellence, Elementary School, IB, Visual and Performing Arts | No Comments

“What would your world be like in the absence of sound? That was James Castle’s world.” That was the question that the students explored with the help of Cort Conley, Director of Literature for the Idaho Commission on the Arts, and Troy Passy, a well-known Boise artist who currently has an exhibit at the Boise Art Museum. Cort first visited Grade 4 to discuss the life of James Castle, an “outsider” artist who once lived and created art in Garden Valley, and later, Boise, Idaho. A few days later, Troy shared a slideshow of Castle’s work, along with a handful of pieces he was inspired to create in Castle fashion.

To help the students relate to James Castle’s world, Troy and Cort passed out earplugs and had the students draw their own rendition of a Castle image, in total silence. After 15 minutes of silence, the students began building their own constructions using the recycled materials they had brought in. Partway through the activity, our Grade 4 class was joined by the Grade 2 buddies, and together they created their own Castle-inspired constructions. Troy and Cort repeated the lesson with the other 4th grade class in the afternoon.

You’re welcome to view their finished constructions and charcoal work, which is out in the hall by our 4th grade classrooms. What a delight it was to hear Emory G.’s exclamation at the end of the lesson, “James Castle is my favorite artist, now!”

Thanks to Cort Conley and Troy Passy for sharing their expertise with our students and thanks to Ms. Fitzharris for the great photos!