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Student Spotlight

April is Jazz Appreciation Month! The artist depicted on the official 2021 poster is pianist, singer, songwriter, storyteller and civil rights activist Nina Simone. And the artist who depicted her on the poster is Visual Arts sophomore Naa Anyele Sowah-De Jesus! To learn more about Simone and JAM, click here.

Thirteen Instrumental Music students won scholarships to Washington Adventist University last month! The awards were based on their recorded submissions of “He’s Got the World in His Hands” as part of WAU’s Virtual-Oso MusicFest.

Megan Jones, Jackson Grant, Rosemary Sellers, Jose Montanto, Zarina Lewis, Wend Pitroipa, Lor’ren Littlejohn, David Marsh, Jodie Kaberia, Santiago Duran, Sofia Smith, Han Binkholder, and Eliora Brown-Egue won four-year scholarships ranging from $2,000-$6,000 per year.

Awards were announced during the event’s last performance, which aired on Facebook.

During a Women’s History Month event last week sponsored by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vocal Music junior Nia Alsop sang “Superwoman,” by Alicia Keys. Nia begins at the 15:28 mark.

Congratulations to Theatre freshman Willow Singleton for winning the American Legion Oratorical Contest (DC Division) and to fellow Theatre freshman Ruby Garritano for placing second!

Each student had to prepare an 8- to 10-minute speech on any Article or Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Then they had to be prepared to deliver a 3- to 5-minute speech on one of four assigned topics, selected at the competition.

Willow won a $5,000 academic scholarship sponsored by the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation and The American Legion in recognition of her achievement as DC’s 2021 oratorical champion. Ruby will be awarded scholarship money as well.

Congratulations to Literary Media & Communication junior Mikayah Lee for making a film that’s been selected to the 9th annual Bethesda Film Festival! One of two high school filmmakers in the festival, Mikayah produced her film – “You Think You Know Me” – as a music video to accompany a song of the same title by Instrumental Music junior Sam Rabinowitz.

“I was asked to create the video and I wasn’t exactly sure what to make,” Mikayah says. “But after listening to the song, and understanding the messages of equality, empowerment, and unity, I was moved and clear about what needed to be shown visually. I hope this video encourages people across the world to come together, stand up for what you believe in, call out the racism and injustices, and do everything you can to ensure we have real change in our country. Until we do that, we won’t solve these problems.”

To view the festival’s seven films, click here. To register for viewing a discussion with the filmmakers at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 16, click here. Viewing the films and attending the discussion are free!

Congratulations to Museum Studies faculty and seniors Jamari Basabe, Armiya Farooq, Mailah Graham-Bond, Kenia Hernandez, Iyanna Morgan, Sahara Porter, Jasmine Reid, Natalia Rodriguez, Jasmine Smith, Diara Stubbs, and Falōin Williams for their wonderful virtual exhibition, “Expressions.” It provides a visual memory of the seniors’ final year at Ellington, and a glimpse of what they’ll carry into the future.

Department Chair Marta Reid Stewart heard from an arts professional who wrote: “These works represent excellence! Very high quality and competitive with anyone in the visual field! Different voices. Different perspectives. Different challenges. So reminiscent of today’s challenges in America.”

To view the exhibition at the Ellington Arts Museum, click here.