Local 15 highlighted the great things happening at St. Paul's Episcopal High School as our Cool School of the Week! St. Paul's was founded in 1947, and now in the 21st century, the Saints' goal is to continue to strengthen the school's role as a leader in education, not only in Mobile, but throughout the South. During our visit, we were introduced to the fine arts program, got a sneak peek at their Spring performance and heard the toe tapping tunes from some string musicians!
The visual arts department of the fine arts program at St. Paul's offers encouragement to young artists to showcase their work. Students learn more about painting, drawing, photography, and instructors say it's an essential part of learning.
"Everyday of the week, we have a pull out student from our study hall or common room," said Felicia Olds, St. Paul's fine arts teacher. "The student comes out of uniform and models for us for a service hour and our students draw for an hour everyday from a new model for the whole week."
Some students, like Caroline Myers, say they plan to further their career as an artist later down the road, and what they do in the classroom each week will bring her closer to that goal.
PERFORMING ARTS: THEATER
Now we are shining a spotlight on St. Paul's Players, who took the stage by storm for their spring performance of one of Disney's most widely acclaimed classics.
It's music is easy to recognize. The incredibly talented St. Paul's Players presented Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" over the weekend.
"We have 12 principals and then we have 63 cast and crew members. And we have been working on this since January," said the Fine Arts Chair, Jody Powell.
"I sing Beauty and the Beast," says Claire Denton who plays Miss Potts in the play. "That's been one of my favorite songs for my whole life. So I was really excited when I heard that I got to sing that song."
Lumiere lights up the stage. Cogsworth ticks. Gaston charms and the Beast roars. Mrs. Potts warms your heart. And Belle, of course, enchants. Kate Nichols played the role of Belle.
"I'm playing Belle and I think the reason why this is such a fun role is because it's such an iconic role," Nichols commented. "Belle is this charismatic person who doesn't care what people think about her and I feel like that's just really encouraging."
The intricate sets and sparkling costumes will transport you to a magical land while the student-performers guide you through a tale as old as time! Brantley Oldenberg has this to say about playing the Wardrobe. "It's just kind of a light role and she's super fun and bubbly and not really expected because not a lot of people remember her from the movie."
Students finished up the final touches as they prepared to grace the stage in their grand performance.
"They take it and make it their own," Powell said. "Alan Menken and Tim Rice are incredible composers librettists and they can create that nuance that kids can relate to and many of them grew up with these shows."
ST. PAUL'S STRING MUSICIANS
The fine arts department continues to impress -- and that includes musically.
Founded in 1990, St. Paul’s Episcopal School Strings Program is composed of two performing ensembles, Chamber Strings and Middle School Strings.