One of the wonderful events that we host at our school is the annual Winter Ball, where students are given the opportunity to perform poems, songs, dances and plays. Aside from providing our school community with many incredible presentations, our Winter Balls contribute to much more than what meets the eye.
First of all, our students are performing not only in English, but also in Russian and French. This allows for our students to maintain their cultural identity by being an active participant in their heritage instead of just learning about it. Mrs. Natalia’s Russian plays combine language and culture in a fun and exciting context. As for the French performances, we take language learning outside of the classroom and provide a setting where students may showcase their progress. From our young Grade 1 students singing authentic French songs or reciting poetry to our Grade 8s’ presentation of famous Russian and Francophone celebrities, our students are immersed in these languages and their respective cultures.
Furthermore, a lot of work goes into the preparation of a play. During this process, students are working on their pronunciation, intonation, language structures (since we usually write our own plays), comprehension, and even history and Francophone culture. Our performances are the product of all that students learn in the classroom.
Finally, performing in front of an audience allows students to gain the confidence they need for many future experiences such as public speaking, presentations, leadership, team work, etc. As a result of their participation in our numerous performances, they are much better able to present their projects or assignments in class. This is a life skill that they will take with them to University and eventually, to their future jobs. Our students are dynamic, confident speakers who are accustomed to performing or presenting in front of an audience. They are ready to take on the world!
Our annual Winter Ball celebrations are a wonderful opportunity for students to
showcase the amazing progress they have made throughout the first term and
their personal growth as individuals. Great emphasis is placed on vocabulary,
pronunciation, creativity, confidence, and overall performance skills. For
Grade 1s and 2s, each and every poem and song had great meaning. The New Year
Song was full of hope and positivity for the 2nd term at U.M.C.A! Individual
student presentations of their personal goals for the new year were quite
inspirational as well. I am so proud of all my grade 1 and 2 students for
their amazing effort, dedication, and spectacular final performance for this
year’s Winter Ball 2016. The great big smiles on each and every audience
member’s face speaks volumes such pride and joy was shared by all! Thank you
1s and 2s and congratulations on a job well done.
I am pleased to inform you that the Winter Ball was a huge success. As usual it was nerve-racking before the event, but it was a wonderful experience. The event was successful because the children participated in the creation of the costumes and decorations. It was inspiring to see their enthusiasm. I truly believe that the event wouldn't be the same if the children did not play the integral part. It is truly important to make them contributors and owners of the creation process.
I cannot mention the eagerness with which the children worked on the presents for the parents. Their eyes were shining with excitement and anticipation of what the reaction will be when the presents will be open. Some of the children, especially in grade 1, were so eager that they managed to take the presents to their parents prior to the Winter Ball. I am really looking forward to the next year's annual event.
During our traditional Winter Ball, the parents of Grade 6 and all others who happened to be in the hall at that moment had the pleasure of seeing “12 Angry Pigs”, a spoof of famous American play and movie “12 Angry Men”, performed beautifully at UMCA by all-stars team of Grade 6 and specially invited prodigy actors of Grade 4 (Miss Julia) and Grade 5 (Miss Anna). At first glance, this performance space looks empty, but walking in you are transformed to the jury’s room of the courthouse.
The stunning set, designed by UMCA Art Teacher (and our in-house designer) Mrs. Marina, included the statue of Lady Justice, an allegorical personification of the moral force in judicial system, and the half-masks of the characters was created completely out of recycled materials but has a distinct airiness that you wouldn’t expect from used cardboard, paper and metal. The table and twelve chairs completed that minimalistic, but expressive set of props. The reminiscent movie clip of Disney’s “Three Little Pigs” that opens the production, and the “Who’s Afraid of Big Bad Wolf” by B5, a R&B music group, introduced the audience to the play.
The story begins in a courthouse, where a Big Bad Wolf is on trial for allegedly damaging property and attempting murder of three little pigs. The jury that consists of 12 pigs is to decide whether the wolf is guilty. If there is any reasonable doubt of his guilt they are to return a verdict of not guilty. The guilty verdict will be accompanied by a mandatory jail sentence.
Inside the set, a wonderful ensemble of actors plays. Each actor is worth noting, but standouts include Miss Gali as Juror#3 and Miss Ruthie as Juror#8. The dramatic timing of each is impeccable, and their acting chops are undeniable. All performers were well prepared and well-rehearsed. The team had a clear picture of what they were trying to achieve. Each member’s work contributed to the success of the final product.
Grade 6 students have put together an amazing show with smooth scene changes, a clear focus, and a cohesiveness that is both impressive and unmatched. No actor pulls focus when they shouldn’t, and even the smallest parts are of the utmost importance.
I encourage you to see this production. Dozens of schools are putting on this show, but I guarantee you won’t find one quite like the UMCA Grade 6’s rendition!