Hamden Hall Country Day School

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MayFest 2020 Showcases Four Hours of the Arts - And an Encore!

The seventh annual MayFest may not have been live from the Skiff Street Athletic Complex, but it did indeed entertain as usual and packed four hours of the arts into two virtual sessions – with an encore scheduled for Friday night!

MayFest 2020 was set to be the May Project for senior Teigan Landsfield, according to Theater Manager Charlie Alexander. In going virtual, Mr. Alexander said the focus became gathering material with Teigan and himself reaching out to current students, recent alums, and artists from the area to gauge their interest in taking part.

“The result was a pretty amazing display of community,” he said. “We had offerings from as far back as the Class of 1995, with alumnus David Solomon sharing rehearsal footage from his current Off-Broadway project, Pump Up the Volume. We got to see (former faculty members) Michael and Mary Jane Smith again, and our current students offered everything from photos to songs, poems to carefully crafted video projects.”

Also weighing in with content were Arts Department Chair Caryn Azoff, who sent pieces from the Upper School Arts classes, and arts faculty members Lisa Daly and Karl Gasteyer.

“In fact we have so much material, there's going to be a MayFest Quarantine Edition Encore on Friday, May 22, at 8 p.m. It will feature the incredibly talented English teacher Arnie Sabatelli (along with colleague bandmates Peter Flamm, John Greenawalt, and Rich Chiaramonte), and performances by seniors Jordan Benoit, Andy Liu, and Nate Valin,” said Mr. Alexander.

Mr. Greenawalt noted that MayFest has typically been a two-day affair, with studio and theater arts presented on a Friday night and an outdoor music festival with all manner of activities on a Saturday afternoon. This year was especially gratifying, he said, in the way the community pulled together to host a virtual format.

“We packed more than four hours of music, studio, visual and theater arts, poetry, prose, and other odds and ends from current students, alums, and current and former faculty into three sessions (two of which have already aired on Youtube). Coupled with the virtual choir performance that has aired on social media and local news, we've really showcased the artistic talents of this community and the caring nature of this community itself,” said Mr. Greenawalt.

Proceeds from Mayfest T-shirt sales will go toward Covid relief funds, he said.

“As a tradition, MayFest is my favorite event at Hamden Hall as each year we get to relax and celebrate each other,” said Mr. Alexander. “This year we get to prove that celebrating community doesn't mean we have to be in the same room. Being together is much more, and it's central to the Hamden Hall identity.”

Click here to view the first episode of MayFest 2020.

Click here to view the second episode of MayFest 2020.




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Hamden Hall Country Day School is a nurturing and inclusive community with a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence by understanding each child and fostering their individual growth.