By Alessandra Antonacci '20
On the weekend of February 9th, the Fontbonne Speech Team competed at the 44th University of Pennsylvania Tournament. The weekend consisted of four preliminary rounds on Saturday, along with final rounds on Sunday.
In the category of Original Oratory, Alexa Vasquez (Senior) won 1st place out of 82 entries. In the category of Declamation, with a total of 77 entries, Brynn Nelson (Sophomore) broke into quarters and Juliann Bianco (Sophomore) advanced into semi-finals. In the category of Duo Interpretation, with a total of 37 entries, all three of the team’s duos advanced victorious past the preliminary rounds. The team of Arianna Heinsch (Junior) and Larissa Mignano (Junior) and the new team of Alexandra Mauro (Junior) and Stephanie Patella (Junior) broke into semi-finals. The team of Dianna Gentile (Junior) and Jenna Gaglioti (Junior) advanced to finals and won 4th place. In the category of Dramatic Interpretation, with a total of 68 entries, Arianna Heinsch broke into quarters, and Larissa Mignano advanced into semi-finals.
The following weekend, the team also competed at the 45th Harvard National Forensics Tournament. This tournament consisted of two days of preliminary rounds on both Saturday and Sunday, as well as advancement rounds that broke into octas, quarter-finals, and semi-finals. The final rounds for each category were held on Monday, February 18th. Not only was this tournament more lengthy than the previous weekend at UPenn, but it also hosted around 300 entries per category. Despite this, multiple members of the Speech team still distinguished themselves and advanced past the preliminary rounds.
In the category of Dramatic Interpretation, Arianna Heinsch advanced to doubles and took top 50 out of 300 entries. In the category of Original Oratory, Alexa Vasquez advanced to quarter-finals and took 25th place out of 366 entries. In Duo Interpretation, the team of Arianna Heinsch and Larissa Mignano broke into octas and placed 26th out of 200 entries, and the team of Dianna Gentile and Brynn Nelson also broke into octas and placed 25th out of 200 entries.
Overall, the last two weeks for the Fontbonne Speech Team were extremely successful and they plan to continue practicing in preparation for their approaching State Championship.
By Emanuela Gallo ‘19
On Tuesday, December 18th, Fontbonne held its annual Christmas Concert at 7:00 pm.
The Select Chorus began the performance with the song, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” from the back of the gymnasium. Mairead O'Shea, a Select Chorus member, recited the poem “Ode” by Arthur O’Shaughnessy. The Vocal Ensemble then performed, “Beauty in the World” by Macy Gray, clapping throughout the song.
The Select Chorus processed down the middle aisle, singing, “O come, all ye faithful,” beginning with a Latin verse and finishing with two English verses. They then sang the Italian Christmas song, “Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle,” preceded by the English translation read out loud by Joanne Centeno.
After singing the beloved “Carol of the Bells” and “Wonderful Christmastime,” the Select Chorus left the stage, allowing Vocal Ensemble to return. They sang, “Christmas in New York,” “Winter Fantasy,” and “Silent Night.”
Select Chorus then joined them on stage to sing a mash-up between “The Little Drummer Boy,” and “Peace on Earth.” The two choruses also sang “Go, Tell It on the Mountain,” and “Dona Nobis Pacem.”
Afterward, the choruses presented Mr. Bailey, the director of the concert, with a gift in order to show their appreciation for all that he does. The Select Chorus also sang a favorite, “Mary, Did You Know?” as a gift to him.
Finally, the Christmas Concert ended with a sing-along, where parents and teachers were encouraged to join in on the fun. They sang classics, including, “Deck the Halls,” “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlefolk,” “Away in a Manger,” “Joy to the World,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
As a member of the Select Chorus, it was fun to come together to perform the Christmas songs we had been practicing for our family, friends, and teachers. We hope that those who came enjoyed it as much as we did!
By Alexandra Mauro '20
The Speech club at Fontbonne, also referred to as “Forensics,” enables students to be more comfortable when speaking in public. This club is run by Mr. Herron and Ms. Marinello, both previous teachers at Fontbonne. Even if you are not comfortable speaking in front of people, this club can assist in gaining confidence and even obtaining lifelong friends.
At the beginning of November, and the beginning of December, the Speech team had a competition at Saint Francis Academy, located in Queens, and a 2-day competition in Princeton, New Jersey. As a result of the competition at Saint Francis, which lasted about 8 hours, sophomore Brynn Nelsen, received 1st place in her category. As a result of the competition at Princeton, students Dianna Gentile and Jenna Gaglioti, as well as Arianna Heinsch and Larissa Mignano, all advanced to finals. The team was extremely supportive and excited to see each other achieve their goals.
The two most recent competitions at Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School (MELS) and Xaverian high school both occurred this December. These competitions were local, so the team did not have to compete against a large number of competitors. However, everyone still stayed focused and determined to win. While impatiently waiting for awards at MELS, Villa transfer students Alexandra Mauro (1st place in Dramatic Interpretation), Stephanie Patella (3rd place in Dramatic Interpretation), and Alessandra Antonacci (4th place in Dramatic Interpretation), all received their first trophies of the season! Many other members advanced to finals and received trophies as well. At Xaverian, the momentum continued when many team members received awards for each of their categories.
The scores you receive depend on how you perform in your specific round. For example, if you are competing in a round with 4 people, the judges will rank you out of 4, 1 being the best and 4 being the worst. The judges stay seated in the middle of the room while a competitor performs their peace. They write notes while watching the performance and rank the competitors at the end of the round. Depending on your score, you could receive a “half-qual,” which means that you’re halfway to qualifying for state champions. Once you get 2 “quals,” you’re all set to compete at states at the end of the year.
With the support and motivation from all of the members, Fontbonne’s team can rise to its full potential. If there’s one piece of advice that Mr. Herron says, and was also stressed during the first meeting, is to “leave your dignity at the door,” while performing. In saying this, he is trying to get the message across to not be embarrassed. Sometimes it’s embarrassing to perform a funny or ridiculous speech in front of other people, but it’s most important to not care and just give it your all. With a mindset like that, everything will fall into place when it comes to competition, and you’ll more than likely succeed with a great score.
Once you’ve experienced this club, your perspective on speaking could completely change for the better. Once you become more comfortable with speaking in front of others, it could be beneficial. When you have to present in college, or even go to something as simple as a job interview, thanks to Forensics, it could be made easier from the experience you’ve taken from the club. Trying it out could be a great idea to get more involved in the school and to have fun, too!
By Alexa Giambra '22
Fontbonne students in the Drama program participated in a trip to see the new Broadway musical, King Kong.
The show dealt with an aspiring actress, Ann Darrow - played by Christiani Pitts - trying to land a part in a show. The story takes place during the 1930s, during the Great Depression when many people were struggling to make a living.
When struggling filmmaker Carl Denham - played by Eric William Morris - hires her, they board a ship ready to film the movie, where they encounter Skull Island, where they find the enormous gorilla King Kong. Before she knew it, Ann was captured by Kong, and taken to his natural habitat. The two befriend one another, but Ann knows she has to protect Kong because Denham was planning to capture Kong and bring him to New York for a show. Carl wants her to pretend like she is afraid of Kong in order to make a “good’’ movie. The two have to figure out how to protect each other.
This was a beautiful and heartwarming story about a woman and her friendship with a gorilla. I would rate this a 9/10. The songs were well done and connected well with the story, and the cast was amazing! Here are some other reviews. Overall, the students’ rating is a 6/10! That’s pretty good!
By Alexa Giambra '22
We had a great time at our 2018 Walkathon, which took place on October 5th. The energy was unbelievable! Despite the cold weather, we walked all the way from our school to the 69th Street Pier and back. Luckily, we even got bagels after the walk. Everyone had tons of fun walking with their friends. It was a huge turnout, too.
We have finally raised enough money to have January 2nd off, thanks to the 100 percent participation! The money will be used for a great purpose- benefiting our school!
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Walkathon! It was a great day that will be remembered.