It’s a ‘Beast’ to bring classic Disney tale to the high school stage

March 3, 2015

Between its Golden Globe-winning turn on the silver screen and its 13-year run on Broadway, the story of “Beauty and the Beast” is familiar to audiences around the world.

By Neil Pierson Issaquah High School seniors Mark Olsen, as Beast, and Elizabeth Moore, as Belle, star in the musical version of the Disney classic ‘Beauty and the Beast.’

By Neil Pierson
Issaquah High School seniors Mark Olsen, as Beast, and Elizabeth Moore, as Belle, star in the musical version of the Disney classic ‘Beauty and the Beast.’

That’s the challenge for the Issaquah High School performing arts department when it brings the musical version of “Beauty and the Beast” to the stage five times in four days this week.

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Swingin’ in Vienna moves to new venue, date

January 15, 2013

In 1998, the Evergreen Philharmonic Orchestra created a renaissance in dancing that crossed generational divides with its surprisingly popular Swingin’ in Vienna.

The semiformal affair, featuring ballroom and swing dancing, returns next month for its 15th year to new digs and a new night.

Longtime orchestra Director Doug Longman said it was a natural transition to move the popular event.

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Who’s News

August 14, 2012

Local teen signs with national agent

Sarah Arthur, 15, of Issaquah, has been signed with the talent agency The Crawford Agency.

She is the daughter of Esi Quaidoo-Arthur and Edmund K. Arthur, of Bellevue, and attends Issaquah High School.

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Who’s News

June 19, 2012

Four Scouts earn Eagle rank

Eric Hall, Zach Hall, Ben Fairhart and Jacob Tierney

Four Boy Scouts from Issaquah Troop 609 — Eric Hall, Zach Hall, Ben Fairhart and Jacob Tierney — earned the rank of Eagle Scout, Scouting’s highest honor, at a court of honor ceremony June 4 at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, Bellevue.

Eric Hall planned and led for his Eagle Scout Project a volunteer effort to build the initial 150 feet of new trail in Squak Valley Park. Eric is an accomplished musician in the Issaquah High School wind ensemble, jazz band and Village Theatre Summerstock pit orchestra. Eric also plays football for the IHS football team and is a member of the National Honor Society.

Zach Hall planned and coordinated Scout and neighborhood volunteers to replace 30 yards of sand at South Cove Beach, repair signage and clean up landscaping. Zach is a proficient musician in the IHS wind ensemble, jazz band, Evergreen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Village Theatre Summerstock pit orchestra. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club and Japanese Club.

Ben Fairhart’s Eagle project involved the restoration of 150 feet of trail in Squak Valley Park.  Outside of Scouting, Ben enjoys playing bass guitar with his band, The Greasy Spoon. Together they have performed in Issaquah, Snoqualmie, Buckley and most recently at El Corazon, in Seattle. He has also been active in service projects and mission trips through his church.

For his Eagle Scout project, Jacob “Jake” Tierney planned and organized the construction and ultimate emplacement of five wood duck nesting boxes along the shores of Lake Tradition. During this project, Jake also coordinated and supervised the relocation of wooden benches to a more useful location adjacent to Lake Tradition. Jake graduated with honors from Liberty High School on June 11. He will study engineering at Santa Clara University, in California in September. Jacob is also the proud recipient of a U.S. Air Force ROTC scholarship.

Who’s News

March 6, 2012

Sister hand therapists join rehabilitation center

Certified hand therapists Stephanie and Sheila Yakobina have joined Proliance Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation, 510 Eighth Ave. N.E., Issaquah.

The sisters graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, with their Bachelor of Science degrees in occupational therapy in 1994. In 1998, they completed a hand therapy fellowship at Texas Women’s University, in Houston. They became certified hand therapists in 2001.

After moving to Washington in 2006, they returned to TWU to earn their master’s degrees in advanced hand therapy.

The duo are past recipients of the American Society of Hand Therapists’ Presidential Award and the President’s Gold Award.

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Evergreen Philharmonic Orchestra presents mix of concert, caroling

December 13, 2011

Conductor Doug Longman stands in front of the Issaquah School District’s Evergreen Philharmonic during the orchestra’s November show, the first formal event in Issaquah High School’s new Performing Arts Center. Contributed

“It’s kind of a whole new format,” said Doug Longman, director of the Issaquah School District’s Evergreen Philharmonic Orchestra.

For the first Christmas concert ever put on by the districtwide orchestra, Longman wanted to do something involving the whole audience. While the idea apparently has been in the back of his mind for at least a few years, he said he overheard someone reminiscing about singing Christmas carols as a youngster, regretting that people don’t seem to do to much caroling any more.

In the end, Longman was inspired to come up with a Christmas concert that will invite audience members to sing carols accompanied by Evergreen.

“Home for the Holidays” is set for 7 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Issaquah High School Performing Arts Center.

“We just thought, what would be better than caroling with a live orchestra?” Longman said.

Creating a holiday event and a local tradition are tandem goals of the performance, according to Pete Peterson, an avid Evergreen supporter.

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Issaquah High School Performing Arts Center debuts with ‘Fiddler on the Roof’

November 29, 2011

Jack Wheeler (right), as Perchik, chats with Suraj Saifullah, as Tevye, as they stage a scene from ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’ By Tom Corrigan

In this case, being first has presented some challenges along with what were described as tremendous opportunities.

While an orchestra concert was officially the premier public event in the still very new Issaquah High School Performing Arts Center, the first full-scale dramatic production will be a staging of the classic musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” set for six performances the first two weekends in December.

“The place is just brimming with potential,” theater manager Marty Kelly- Petersen said recently in describing the new theater equipped with what can only be described as state-of-the-art lighting, sound and stage equipment.

Drama teacher Holly Whiting is the director for “Fiddler on the Roof.” She said it was decidedly fun to have all that new paraphernalia at her disposal. But both students and staff had to figure out how to use all those nice, new amenities.

“The learning curve was vertical,” Whiting added.

Whiting is especially impressed by a couple of aspects of the new theater and first pointed to the large orchestra pit. For the first time, she said, an Issaquah High School production will be able to make what she feels is appropriate use of a full orchestra. Whiting said the “cafetorium” theater used in the past allowed a full orchestra only if the musicians sat onstage. Otherwise, there was room for only a limited number of players.

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Liberty High School schedule should be used districtwide

November 8, 2011

Hall Monitor Brock Mullens Liberty High School

For the past few weeks the Issaquah School District Schedule Committee, made up of teachers, administrators and students, has been reviewing choices for a consistent, districtwide schedule.

The change would allow all three high schools in the district to be on the same schedule. The schedule they choose could greatly affect general education in all of the schools, so the decision they are making is a highly controversial one.

Being from Liberty High School, I have a bias toward the eight-period block schedule (a schedule with two class days with four different classes each day). The opportunities provided by an eight-class schedule greatly exceed those of a six-period schedule due to the added class slots generally used for electives, such as business and marketing (DECA), band and journalism. These classes also benefit from the longer periods of the block schedule. Having a class that lasts an hour and a half allows more work to be done in one session, especially in lab-based science classes.

Other schedules, such as a hybrid-block schedule (involving a combination of daily classes and the block schedule) or a seven-period day, which involves all seven classes daily, are both viable options; however, they have the potential to have a heavy financial toll.

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Curtain rises on Issaquah High School Theater

November 1, 2011

Theater manager Marty Kelly-Peterson (left) and district construction coordinator Royce Nourigat discuss the finer points of Issaquah High School’s new theater. By Tom Corrigan

On this day, a little more than a week before the first public event is scheduled to take place, a few workers still are putting final touches on the new, 600-seat Issaquah High School Theater.

Overall, the theater was about 97 percent finished, said Royce Nourigat, district construction coordinator. Both he and theater manager Marty Kelly-Peterson said there would be no problem in having the space ready for its inaugural evening, a concert featuring the district’s Evergreen Philharmonic slated for Nov. 5. The orchestra consists of musicians from schools across the Issaquah School District.

Orchestra Director Doug Longman said he is pleased to be putting on the first event in the theater, a facility he said would be the envy of many universities. A concert might be an appropriate first event, as Kelly-Peterson said the theater features “amazing” acoustics among other attributes.

For one thing, Kelly-Peterson said that while the theater comes complete with a wireless microphone system, speakers or performers could appear on the main stage minus any electronic amplification and be heard in the back of the auditorium. Further, that stage can be transformed into an orchestra shell, improving the theater’s acoustics even more.

“It’ll send the sound right out to the audience,” Kelly-Peterson said.

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Rotary Club honors students of the month

March 1, 2011

The Rotary Club of Issaquah recently honored the following seniors as its students of the month for February.

Isabelle Chu

Isabelle Chu

-School: Issaquah High School

-Category of recognition: music

-Parents: Lawrence and Janet Chu

-Sponsoring teacher: Doug Longman

-Achievements: 4.0 grade point average, National Merit commended status

-Athletics: two black belts in martial arts

-Activities: principal cellist of the Evergreen Philharmonic and formal principal of Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra; second in state for large ensemble (2009)

-Scholastic activities: biology (and pursue that in college); National Honor Society executive board

-Hobbies: playing cello in orchestra and small ensemble/chamber groups; photography, fashion and traveling

-Outside school affiliations: Universal Energy Martial Arts; Eastside Chamber Choir and Orchestra; Sapor Dei Quartet; volunteer at Clark Elementary School

-Future goals: attend a four-year liberal arts college; dream school is Amherst or Princeton; still undecided on a career

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