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Posted Wednesday, Mar 29, 2017 

The Wyoming Seminary Mock Trial team recently concluded a successful mock trial competition season at the 34th Annual Pennsylvania Bar Association Statewide High School Mock Trial Competition, held in the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg.

The Sem team, representing Region 5 in state competition, finished in third place, falling in the semifinal round to Roman Catholic High School. This is the sixth time in 10 years that the Sem Blue Knights have advanced to the state level. The competition featured the top 14 Mock Trial teams in the Commonwealth.

Two members of the Sem team were honored with special awards. Senior Imran Pakbaz received three Best Witness Awards, and senior and team co-captain Emily Laurore received three Best Advocate Awards.

"With this competition, we turn the page on yet another successful Mock Trial season," said Adam Carlisle, member of the Sem history faculty and Mock Trial Team teacher-coach. "I could not be more proud of what these seven students accomplished together this year."

The competition, sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, provides high school students with a firsthand experience of the American judicial system.

Mock trial teams argue a case before a judge and are evaluated based on their presentation, opening and closing arguments, direct and cross examination, poise and articulation, control of facts, and knowledge of Mock Trial rules of law and exceptions. Competitions involve two opposing high school teams who apply real-life statutes and case law to fictitious situations in a simulated trial setting.

The Wyoming Seminary Mock Trial team is seen following the Statewide High School Mock Trial competition held in Harrisburg; seated from left: senior Imran Pakbaz, senior and co-captain Avery Conyngham, senior and co-captain Emily Laurore and senior Paige Allen. Standing, from left: sophomore Philip Ouellette, junior Samantha Immidisetti, and junior Meghna Melkote. Not present for photo: Adam Carlisle, teacher coach; David Johnson, teacher coach; and attorney advisors Guerline L. Laurore, Joseph C. Ruby, Paul Galante and Zach Watkins.

Posted Wednesday, Mar 29, 2017 

The music of French composer Gabriel Fauré will be celebrated in a special chamber music festival to be held at Wyoming Seminary Upper School on Saturday, April 8 and Sunday, April 9.

The festival, consisting of two concerts, will be held at Sem's Kirby Center for Creative Arts, 260 North Sprague Avenue, Kingston. The concerts are free and open to the public.

Fauré's music is often described as linking Romanticism to Modernism, and he influenced many important 20th century composers, most notably after he was named director of the Paris Conservatory in 1905. Among these composers are Maurice Ravel, George Enescu, Nadia Boulanger and the young Aaron Copland.

Fauré's flowing and intimate style, full of subtleties and beautiful detail, is particularly conducive to solo and small ensemble works, and chamber music plays an important role in his oeuvre. The String Quartet, Op. 121, is the last piece Fauré wrote, just months before his death at age 79.

The concert on Saturday, April 8, which will begin at 8:00 p.m., will feature Fauré's Piano Trio Op. 120, the String Quartet Op. 121 and the first Violin Sonata Op. 13. Festival performers include festival organizer Christiane Appenheimer-Vaida (cello), Sophie Till and John Michael Vaida (violin), Amy Iwazumi (viola), and Cathy Wen-Chi Liu (piano).

The concert on Sunday, April 9, beginning at 2:00 p.m., will feature the second Piano Quintet Op. 115 and some of Fauré's well-known character pieces: "Romance," "Berceuse" and "Sicilienne" for violin and piano, as well as "Elegie" for cello and piano. The program also will present the "Pavane" Op. 50 arranged for string ensemble, and three selections from his choral repertoire: "Madrigal" Op. 35, "En Priere" and "Cantique de Jean Racine" Op. 11. The festival musicians will be joined by the Wyoming Seminary Madrigal Singers, directed by John Vaida and the Sem String Ensemble, directed by Appenheimer-Vaida.

This festival is supported by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and The Pocono Arts Council, and is part of the 2016-2017 Wyoming Seminary Performing Arts Series.

For more information about the Fauré Festival at Wyoming Seminary please call the communications office at 570-270-2190.

To hear more about the Wyoming Seminary Fauré Festival, click to listen to a WVIA-FM ArtScene interview.

Posted Wednesday, Mar 29, 2017 

The performing artists of Wyoming Seminary will present a seldom-performed children's opera from the World War II era in Czechoslovakia.

The Wyoming Seminary Chorale and Madrigal Singers, String Ensemble and Orchestra will present their annual Spring Concert on Sunday, April 23 at 2:00 p.m. in Sem's Kirby Center for Creative Arts, 260 North Sprague Avenue, Kingston. The concert is free and open to the public. Selections include "We Are One" by Allen Pote, "The Road Not Taken" by Randall Thompson, and "Anthem for Peace" by Mack Wilberg.

This year the Chorale and Madrigal Singers, String Ensemble and Orchestra, Drama Department, and select members of the Lower School Choir will come together in an unprecedented collaborative effort to perform "Brundibar."

"Brundibar" is a children's opera that was composed in 1938 by Hans Krasa, with lyrics by Adolf Hoffmeister. Originally composed for a children's opera competition, "Brundibar" premiered in German-occupied Prague before the score was smuggled into the Terezin concentration camp where it was performed 55 times during World War II.

The Czechoslovakian opera, which will be performed in English, tells the tale of two children, Aninka and Pepicek, who must go out and find milk for their sick mother, although they have no money to pay for it.

The children battle against the evil organ-grinder Brundibar with the help of a sparrow, a cat, and a dog to come to the aid of their ailing mother. In the end, hope and justice prevail in this timeless tale of good versus evil.

The concert is part of the Wyoming Seminary 2016-2017 performing arts schedule. For more information call 570-270-2190.

Posted Monday, Mar 27, 2017 

Wyoming Seminary is offering an engaging and exciting mix of arts, athletics, academics and activities camps in June and July to area students in early childhood, elementary, middle and high school.

The Early Summer Fun at Sem camp runs June 5-23 and includes a wide variety of activities in adventure, writing, crafts, technology and sports. Children ages 3-4 are invited to take part in three workshops, titled All About Books, Fun on the Farm, and Water, Water Everywhere. Children entering kindergarten or first grade may choose from workshops featuring Chinese culture, Mo Willems stories, crafts, Sport-A-Day, Under the Sea and Fun with Playdough, among others. Children entering grades 2-4 will enjoy workshops on LEGO stop-motion movies, Sem Survivor, Board Games, Community Heroes, LEGO Storystarters, Magic Treehouse and others. Students entering grades 5-8 may sign up for sessions on LEGO stop-motion movies, Sport-A-Day, Mandarin Chinese, iOS Photography, learning the ukulele, STEM, Kids Do The News, field hockey and graphic novels, among others.

All sessions will be held at the Lower School, 1560 Wyoming Avenue, Forty Fort.

A two-week Summer STEM Program, featuring workshops on the amazing properties of water, and basic engineering principals and design challenges, will be held at Wyoming Seminary Upper School June 19-30. Students entering grades 6-9 will take on engineering challenges such as a water relay race, building an aquarium terrarium, designing a bridge and building structures that can withstand a simulated earthquake. The program will focus on small daily projects and explorations, followed by a large challenge project.

For high school students interested in taking academic courses, Sem offers a four-week College Prep Institute from July 10-August 4 at the Upper School in Kingston. Classes meet every day in morning and afternoon sessions; courses include Public Speaking, The Creation of Music, Discovery of Art, The Bible and Western Culture, and Health Education.

The Performing Arts Institute (PAI), a three-to-six-week side-by-side summer program for serious students ages 12-18 of music, dance, jazz, and musical theater, will be held June 25-August 5 at Sem's Upper School. This intensive program offers opportunities to study and perform with professional artists and highly experienced teachers. PAI instrumental and vocal students receive daily masterclasses, weekly lessons, music education electives, and participate in five weekly performing ensembles: symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, jazz band, Masterworks Chorale and Institute Chorus. Musical theater students work collaboratively with professionals through daily theatrical classes and rehearsals culminating in a full Broadway musical production; this summer's program will feature David DeSilva's smash hit "Fame the Musical" which inspired a critically-acclaimed movie and a six-season television show. With choreography and instruction by highly regarded principal dancers, PAI's dance program, for students ages 12-18, features classes in ballet, modern, improvisation and jazz that builds up to a fully staged production on Sunday, July 23. PAI provides about 20 concerts, recitals and performances which are free and open to the public in the Sem Kirby Center for Creative Arts.

The Junior Performing Arts Institute, running July 10-22 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Upper School, is a high energy and high quality musical experience for children in grades 5-8 who have two years' experience with their instrument. Open to voice, string, woodwind, brass, percussion and piano players, Junior PAI is designed to inspire young musicians to make the leap into a lifetime of music making through classes and a recital.

For more information on any of these summer programs, call the Summer at Sem office at 570-270-2161 or visit the web site at

Posted Wednesday, Mar 22, 2017 

Wyoming Seminary Upper School Director of Athletics Karen Klassner recently announced Sem's Most Valuable Players, Gold Award and other award winners for winter sports. Athletes who earned four varsity letters or three varsity and one junior varsity letters in their sport receive Gold Awards.

In boys basketball, senior John Kehl received the Coaches' Award and the Gold Award. In girls basketball, freshman Alexandria Wesneski received the Most Valuable Player Award.

In girls ice hockey, senior Alyssa DiCostanzo received the Coaches' Award. In boys prep ice hockey, senior Fred Allaire received the Offensive MVP Award, while senior Richard Zemanek received the Defensive MVP. Senior Jake Rosner received the Gold Award. In boys high school ice hockey, sophomore William Ziegler received the Offensive MVP Award, while junior Cole Ardoline received the Defensive MVP.

In girls swimming, senior Mei Snow received the Coaches Award, while junior Tara Kupsky received the Most Valuable Swimmer Award. Seniors Nicole Rose Lukesh and Kaylee Sminkey received Gold Awards. In boys swimming, sophomore Nathan Tindell received the Coaches Award, while sophomore Marcos Rico Peng and senior Stanley Zaneski received the MVP Award. Seniors Matthew Bean and Connor DiLeo received Gold Awards.

In wrestling, sophomore Michael Doggett received the Most Improved Wrestler Award, while freshman Beau Bartlett received the award for Most Team Points Scored. Senior William Moss received the Gold Award in wrestling.

Seen following the awards presentation are, first row from left: Connor DiLeo, Beau Bartlett, Cole Ardoline, Fred Allaire and Nathan Tindell. Second row, from left: Tara Kupsky, Alexandria Wesneski, Mei Snow and Kaylee Sminkey. Third row, from left: Michael Doggett, Jake Rosner, Marcos Rico Peng, William Ziegler, Stan Zaneski, John Kehl, Richard Zemanek, Matthew Bean, William Moss. Not present for photo: Alyssa DiCostanzo and Nicole Rose Lukesh.

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Wyoming Seminary is an independent college preparatory private school and boarding school in Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley. Sem strives for success in academics, athletics, STEM, fine arts and performing arts. Boarding school, day school and summer program options available. Affordable tuition & scholarships offered.

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