Information about : Fall Play, Christmas Play, Spring Show, Summer Show- “Dramalums,” & Past Productions
Information about: Madrigals, Choir, Music Liturgy
Information about: Concert Band with Strings
For nearly 30 years, the artistic component of the human person has been nourished, tended and cultivated at Father Gabriel Richard High School in a unique way. The tremendous talents of fine arts instructor Anne Kolaczkowski-Magee (Ms. K-M) has brought to life this great dimension of human life and has shown the heights of success and beauty to which it may attain. In 1989, the Performing Arts Program at Father Gabriel Richard High School began in very humble circumstances but has since grown and flourished over the years to become one of the premier programs in Southeast Michigan.
Nationally recognized, the Father Gabriel Richard High School Performing Arts Program produces an unprecedented four shows per year including a fall drama, original Christmas play and spring musical. To cap it off, our talented and committed alumni, in pursuit of continued performance opportunities, founded the Dramalums in 2004. Now in its 13th year, the group produces and performs a much anticipated musical every summer.
In addition to the school’s renown for onstage dramatic performances, Father Gabriel Richard High School’s vocal and instrumental program is second to none. Founded in 1989, the choir and orchestra program began as a grass roots effort which, over time, has blossomed into more than 100 participants strong. In addition to adding beauty to the all-school liturgies and devotional exercises, our musical performers also entertain at numerous community events. Drawing from an already rich talent pool, our musical department quickly gained notoriety when the Madrigals group was formed in 1997. This highly select ensemble features a range of musical styles which has garnered the group myriad awards since its formation, including six Golden Mickey awards at the Walt Disney World Choir Festival.
“Watching a story that is being played out by real human beings physically in the room with you (i.e., theatre), you achieve a level of identification with the people in that story and with their struggles that are impossible to achieve in any other medium. If recent times have taught us anything, I feel it is the crucial need to understand those who are different from us, where they come from, why they do what they do, and the common needs and desires we all share as human beings that unite us. Art is the great unifier of human experience, and as such is more necessary now than it has ever been.”
“The arts provide an extraordinary opportunity for self-expression. No two singers sound exactly the same. No two artists paint exactly the same. No two actors perform exactly the same. Through the arts, people can have experiences that they could not have otherwise. The arts can make people think about a subject in a different way. They can stir people’s emotions.”
With such a successful and storied performing arts program comes its challenges. While much can be said for the camaraderie that is built through a common struggle and overcoming obstacles, the difficulties that the Performing Arts Program faces year-to-year are indeed significant. With limited resources in terms of performance space, the school manages to put on top level performances with the tireless support of faculty, staff, and a tremendous cadre of parent volunteers. Practicing in classrooms, building sets in hallways, and transporting them along with costumes and props to off-site theatres is challenging at best.
Many exciting initiatives are being pursued as a direct result of the Enriching the Mission Campaign. Included in this effort is the design and production of a world-class auditorium to cultivate the artistic talents of our students. In addition to full length dramatic performances, the Performing Arts Center will provide a space for poetry recitation, one-act plays, class assemblies, and lectures. Likewise, it will be a place for forensics and oratory competitions, mock trials, and other opportunities for students to hone their rhetorical skills. In cultivating relationships with the arts community in Ann Arbor and Southeast Michigan, it may also be the site of musical performances, hosting small ensembles and local maestros. Finally, it is a space that would also allow coordination and cooperation with local Catholic and private elementary and middle schools for their own performances and as an effort to help younger students appreciate the arts and oratory.
Father Gabriel Richard High School alumni have been inspired and benefited greatly from their arts experience. In addition to instilling confidence and poise in whatever field of endeavor they choose to pursue, many of our alumni are actively utilizing what they have learned to make the world a more beautiful place. Whether in singing in parish choirs, encouraging or assisting budding young artists or cultivating a love of beauty with their children, our students and alumni have embraced this essential and very human aspect of their education and have shared it with others.
Support for this ambitious campaign has been extraordinary. Your contributions to this effort are vital in helping to ensure the sustained and future growth of the vibrant Performing Arts Program at Father Gabriel Richard High School. Within every child resides an artist. Help our students to nurture their artistic gifts through the performing arts that will instill faith, poise and confidence along their journey to becoming shining stars on the stage of life.
To learn more, contact:
Director of Institutional Advancement