Strong Minds. Kind Hearts.

All-school community service activities, speakers and reflection lead to deeper understanding of world.

Spotlight on the Arts

Sign-ups close this Friday, Feb. 16th for the 2018 Middle School Play. This year's production is Starry Messenger, the story of Galileo Galilei, the scientist who sought out answers to the universe's greatest mysteries, even though everyone around him tried to discourage his curiosity.

Any interested student who signs up and can commit to the schedule gets to be a part of the show. 

Please fill out this sign-up form to participate. Sign-ups end Friday, Feb. 16th.

Auditions – Tues. Feb. 27 & Wed. Feb. 28

Students should sign up and attend ONE of the two days. Due to the Frost Valley trip, eighth graders auditioning must attend Tuesday, February 27th. Auditions last from 3:30 – 5:30 pm.  All audition materials will be provided, and students do not need to prepare anything.

Rehearsals & Schedule (2 to 5 days a week)

Everyone will have a set rehearsal schedule, rehearsing between two and five days a week, with full cast rehearsals on three Fridays (3/9, 3/16 & 4/13). In addition to Fridays, students will have a set schedule of one to four additional weekdays, depending on the role they are cast in. 

If you have limited availability, we may not be able to accommodate your schedule. Please indicate on the sign-up form which days you are available for rehearsal.

Students interested in signing up for the Technical Crew do not need to attend auditions. But you must fill out the permission slip.

Watch the all-school cast rehearsal of "Step In Time."

"Mary Poppins" rehearsals are going really well! On any given day, students are scattered throughout a variety of rooms learning dances, adding harmonies to songs or bringing their characters to life in an acting scene. On stage, the music is accompanied by the sound of hammers and nails as the set nears completion. Last week, actors and the flight crew spent four rehearsals in flight school, learning how to fly. Behind the stage in Studio 11, the whirring of sewing machines has picked up speed, as we style wigs, craft headpieces, and construct the kites.

The show opens (next week!) Thursday, Feb. 8th and Friday, Feb. 9th at 7:30 pm. and Saturday, Feb. 10th at 2:00 & 7:30 pm. Fun for the whole family!


Students in 3rd through 12th grade who take private music lessons are eligible to participate in the NYSSMA Solo Festival in March.  The Solo Festival is a wonderful opportunity for serious music students to receive an independent evaluation of their abilities.  This is also the first step to All County and All State eligibility.  

To register for the 2017 NYSSMA Festival, please click here or visit the NYSSMA section of the FA website. Registration must be complete by Thursday, January 25th. NOTE: Please fill out a separate registration form for each student and for each event.

Over a dozen students from all three divisions participated in the New York State School Music Association’s All County Festival. Students were selected based on their scores in the Solo Festival last spring.

All County students must learn three to five selections on their own, working with FA teachers and their private teachers. They then join students from schools all over Nassau County at three 4-hour rehearsals, where they have the opportunity to work with guest conductors, who include college professors and professional conductors. Students then perform on the stage at the Tilles Center at one of nine concerts that happen over the first two weekends in January.

It is an exciting opportunity for students to work in large ensembles and feel the power of music as it fills the Tilles Center, which is filled to capacity with over 2,000 people. Congratulations to our students on this wonderful accomplishment!

This week, we welcome the return of ordained Buddhist monk and professor Lama Tenzin Yignyen Monday, Jan. 8 through Friday, Jan. 12. For the last three years, Lama Tenzin has been gracing us with his presence in order to teach compassion and peace through sand mandala painting. Watch this video to find out more.  

Lama Tenzin will be holding a series of events that the FA community is welcome to attend:

  • Tues. Jan 9th-Fri. Jan. 12th: Morning meditations - Dolan Center Atrium at 8:30 a.m.
  • Wed. Jan. 10th: Lunch and Learn - Art Studio from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
  • Fri. Jan 12th: Dismantling Ceremony - Dolan Center Atrium at 10:20 a.m.

Please join us!

What a wonderful Upper School concert we had last week. We hope Upper School parents and students also made time to enjoy the Cross-Divisional Art Show (Grades 3-12) in the Gallery. Please join us for our two remaining concerts and art receptions!  

* Wed. Dec. 13 - MS Art Reception at 6:00 pm / Concert at 7:00 pm

* Tues. Dec. 19 - LS Art Reception at 9:00 am / Concert at 10:00 am

All the sign-ups and auditions are over and the full cast of "Mary Poppins!" includes 120+ students in grades 3 - 12.  At our first rehearsal, we started to learn music, learned about the process of beginning to rehearse, and got our scripts. We ended with seniors in the cast leading us in community-building activities. In addition to working with the whole group in a room together, students are learning the solos they will sing and chimney sweeps are kicking up the dust with their dancing!

View a photo of the entire cast.

After a lot of planning and organizing, we are finally starting to put the cast together for Mary Poppins!  A two-week process that is structured differently in each division, students are appropriately challenged at each age. While Lower School students simply sign up, in Middle School students had a one-day audition process that gave them the opportunity to sing a small solo, and try out for a couple of the characters that get to fly or have small singing solos. Emphasis was placed on how to audition, and on being supportive in an audition environment.

In Upper School, students have a rigorous three- or four-day audition process, which is more aligned to the professional audition process. One big difference is that students watch each other's auditions so that they can practice how to support one other and ultimately create an atmosphere where it feels safe to try something new or push themselves to excel. 

Congratulations to the cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream! You had four amazing shows and delighted every audience. Athenians, Mechanicals, Fairies, Lovers and Music makers all came together to tell us one of Shakespeare’s most famous stories.  Your costumes were delightful, you were lit beautifully and oh! ... What a wonderful forest you lived in! Thank you for your hard work and for sharing your passion with the whole community.

This Thursday, Friday and Saturday (Nov. 2-4) the 1590s meet the 1960s in the Upper School production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."  Tickets are $12/student; $15/adults. 7:30 in the Helen A. Dolan Center Theater.

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