Category Archives: Fine Arts

Holiday Magic: Oakcrest Chorus to Perform with McLean Orchestra

Immerse in the magic of the holidays with the McLean Orchestra, once again joined by the Oakcrest School Girls’ Chorus. Revel in the joy and solemnity of the season and bring your best voice to join in on our traditional holiday sing-along which will include the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s beloved Messiah. As always we offer free parking and our popular post-concert cake and champagne reception, open to all.

McLean Orchestra flyer

Saturday, December 8, 2012  8:00 p.m. Sunday, December 9, 2012  3:00 p.m.

Oakcrest School – 850 Balls Hill Rd. McLean, VA

For more information and to purchase tickets, click HERE.


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Oakcrest Cappie Publishes in Washington Post

Frequent murders and hilarious hi-jinks pervade Bishop Ireton’s musical comedy, ‘Something’s Afoot’

The Washington Post, November 26, 2012

All reviews are written by Cappies student critics and edited by Cappies adult mentors prior to publishing.  Access online HERE.

Sophie Buono, a student at Oakcrest School, reviews “Something’s Afoot” performed by Bishop Ireton High School as part of The Cappies Critics and Awards Program.

Photo by Catherine Schreiber

An old mansion, an unlikely mix of guests, and the unexplained death of a host seem to form a recipe for suspense and screams.  However, these elements actually make up the lively and comical musical “Something’s Afoot,” Bishop Ireton’s recent production.

“Something’s Afoot” was written by James McDonald, David Vos, and Robert Gerlach, with additional music by Ed Linderman.  It became a dinner theater favorite after its 1976 showing on Broadway.  The story, which pokes fun at Agatha Christie’s murder mystery “And Then There Were None,” begins with the arrival of six guests at the Lord Dudley Rancour’s mansion.  Unfortunately, the guests quickly discover that their host has been murdered, and as one person after another mysteriously dies, suspicions heighten.  While the guests and servants of the house hunt for answers, they face personal encounters with each other.  All the while, the show exaggerates the shock of murder, the uncertainty of finding a culprit, the wittiness of a detective, and the spontaneity of love in order to add spicy humor to the story.

Bishop Ireton’s production of “Something’s Afoot” shone with impressive talent in multiple areas.  The cast as a whole sparked laughs through their body language, sharply performed in dramatic unison whenever something suspicious occurred.  The choreography, though simple, captivated the audience through each character’s enthusiasm and almost consistently spot-on timing.  In spite of a few microphone issues, the cast’s diction carried through quite smoothly, and most of them engaged strikingly accurate accents.

Miss Tweed (Sarah Moffit), the sprightly and witty old lady, performed with particular confidence and ease.  Each of her mannerisms, from her hunched walk to her wily facial expressions captivated the audience, making her death both hilarious and sad to see that such an entertaining character had to die.  The tender-hearted Hope Langdon (Brenna Carroll) also livened up the stage with her brightly optimistic face and melodious voice that made singing high notes seem like a walk in the park.  Her heartfelt yet juvenile relationship with the spirited Geoffrey (Joey Ledonio) both touched and tickled the audience.

Other characters shone despite shorter stage time.  Lady Grace Manley-Prowe (Kaitlin Hamer) displayed strong vocal talent in her solo “The Man with the Ginger Mustache.”  Servants Lettie (Catherine Schreiber) and Flint (Joseph Green) grasped their cockney personas and ran with them, shown in their accents, attitudes, and comical song “Dinghy.”  While some characters sang a bit weakly in the upper register, their skillful expression drew significant attention.

The set of “Something’s Afoot” wowed the audience from the moment the curtain opened.  The two levels, complete with stairs, decorative paintings, and several functioning doors, portrayed Lord Rancour’s mansion with astounding realism and beauty.  The costumes, almost all student-made, from hats to shoes, drew the reader into the 1930s time period. The special effects, timed precisely, included amusing and surprising elements such as smoky explosions and poisonous gas clouds.

From beginning to end, Bishop Ireton’s “Something’s Afoot” flipped Agatha Christie stories upside down with dexterity, and so brought several audience members to their feet at the curtain call.

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Oakcrest Music Program Featured in Connection Newspaper

An Instrumental Program at Oakcrest School: McLean independent girls’ school enjoys its musical reputation

By Lori Baker, Connection Newspapers, November 5, 2012

The sixth grade chorus class, including students Kiley Hatch, Maddy Conroy, Lily James, Julia Cipollone, Emma Pelletier, Caroline Dauchess and Grace Talbott, practice one of their more challenging pieces, Laudate Dominum.

Photo by Lori Baker: The sixth grade chorus class, including students Kiley Hatch, Maddy Conroy, Lily James, Julia Cipollone, Emma Pelletier, Caroline Dauchess and Grace Talbott, practice one of their more challenging pieces, Laudate Dominum.

When music teacher Anne Miller came to Oakcrest School 11 years ago, there was no formal music program. The small Catholic girls school in McLean had no formal chorus, no band and no orchestra. So imagine her delight at the school’s current reputation.


Photo by Lori Baker: Sixth grade students Maddy Conroy and Lily James.

“It’s been said that it’s become a singing school,” Miller said. “Which I think is beautiful,” she added. Miller said the girls are constantly singing in the halls. They leave class singing.

As director of the school’s music program, she built the program from the ground up.

The program started slowly. Middle school girls, grades sixth through eighth began with chorus. A music appreciation course was soon added. “They develop an understanding of the great classics as well, and some of them might come in thinking I don’t want to learn this music,” said Miller. “But invariably they leave saying, ‘wow, I want to keep listening and going to concerts.’”

Though the school historically produced one show per year, Miller is proud that the girls now put on Broadway musicals, and present musical shows throughout the year. In fact, last year’s Seussical production resulted in four Cappie award nominations for the school. Miller said that could not have been done without Oakcrest Theater Director Jessica Carey.


Photo by Lori Baker: Oakcrest School’s music team, Joanna Iwaskiw, Anne Miller and Elizabeth Black.

“I have never liked music class,” said sixth grader, Caroline Dauchess. “But I like this music class. It’s fun. We learn all these songs, like staccato.” At the mention of the word, the students spontaneously belted out staccato demonstrations, which were quickly followed by giggles.

EACH CHORUS CLASS begins with a series of warm-ups, also cause for stifled giggles. The warm-ups feature a wide variety of stretches for not just the vocal chords, but for posture as well. “I think we learned a lot of cool techniques that help us sing a lot better,” said sixth grader, Maddy Conroy. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s cool learning all of these songs that you never thought would exist.”

Depending on the time of day, music of another sort can be heard coming from the school’s auditorium. Students with flutes, cellos, violins and oboes were spread throughout the room, focused on individual practice sessions.


Photo by Lori Baker: Sixth grade cellist, Skye Hartsoe, learns a new piece on her brand new cello.

On one recent October morning, they were just given a new piece of music to learn. Oakcrest Instrumental Music Director Joanna Iwaskiw moved throughout the room, individually coaching each student. Iwaskiw was hired just this year to get the school’s new instrumentals program off the ground. Many of the students had previously played instruments, and Miller encouraged them to stick with those instruments until the school’s instrumentals program could begin. The students have greeted the new program with enthusiasm.

Iwaskiw enjoys seeing what the children learn. And it’s more than just music. “It is a place where the students really express themselves. Their character is very much shown while singing and playing music. And I’ve noticed also the girls’ really hard work ethic, which is lovely to have.”


Photo by Lori Baker: Oakcrest violin students, Julka Syska and Sofia Summitt, at a recent practice session.

“I love music,” said Summitt. “It’s fun to listen to, and also it gives you a pleasure to play it for people,” added Syska.

THE GIRLS are beginning to prepare for a Christmas concert on Dec. 17. And Miller is pleased that the upper school chorus has been invited to sing for a third year with the McLean Orchestra, on Dec. 8 and 9, at Oakcrest. Both concerts are open to the public.

Miller said she is proud of the students, and the school’s music program. “I am very happy to be able to give the students the opportunity to learn music, to express their creativity, to experience the beauty of music,” she said.

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Oakcrest Presents C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”

Oakcrest School is excited to announce their 2012 Middle School Show, “The Lion, The Witch and The  Wardrobe.” This new dramatization of C.S. Lewis’ classic, set in the land of Narnia, faithfully recreates the magic and mystery of Aslan, the great lion, his struggle with the White Witch, and the adventures of four children who inadvertently wander from an old wardrobe into the exciting, never-to-be-forgotten Narnia.

The intense action features chases, duels and escapes as the witch is determined to keep Narnia in her possession and to end the reign of Aslan. All the memorable episodes from the story are represented in this exciting dramatization: the temptation of Edmund by the witch, the slaying of the evil wolf by Peter, the witnessing of Aslan’s resurrection by Susan and Lucy, the crowing of the four new rulers of Narnia, and more. The show will be presented by a 32 member cast from Oakcrest’s 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.

This story of love, faith, courage and giving, with its triumph of good over evil, is a true celebration of life and a great way to begin your holiday season!

Performances are on Friday Nov. 9 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, Nov. 10 at 11:00 am and  7:30 pm.  $5/childres ages 2-18, $10/adult.  Buy tickets online at

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Spring Concert 2012

The annual Spring Concert took place on April 25, during Fine Arts Week at Oakcrest.  Music Director Anne Miller directed each class in their class song, as well as the Concert Chorus and combined choirs.  The students worked very hard to perfect the melodies and harmonies for their songs, to the delight of the audience, which included students, faculty, staff, parents, families and friends.  Bravo!  Encore!

Combined Choirs

Craig Hella Johnson    Will There Really be a Morning?

Eighth Grade Guitar

Irish Folk Song, arr. Aaron Stang   For the Beauty of the Earth

Aaron Stang    Blues Changes

Sixth Grade

Eric H. Thiman  Path to the Moon

Lyn Williams   Ferry Me Across the Water

Allan E. Naplan  Hine ma tov

arr. Greg Gilpin   Catch a Falling Star

Seventh Grade

Arr. Amily Crocker    Across the Western Ocean

Korean Folk Song, arr. Brad Printz   Ahrirang

Amy F. Bernon   She Sings

Eighth Grade

John Rutter   For the Beauty of the Earth

Davil L. Brunner    Yo le Canto Todo el Dia

Concert Chorus

English Folk Song, arr. Michael Neaum The Water of Tyne

Christine McVie, arr. Ed Lojeski  Songbird

Bobby Troup, arr. Roger Emerson  Route 66

Bill Henderson, arr. David J. Elliott   When I Sing


Scottish Carol, arr. Mairi Campbell and David Francis   Auld Lang Syne

Kathyrn Bell, Danielle Dar Juan, Alex Gadiano,

Amanda Hernandez, Carolyn Lucas,

Angel Maimone, Madeline Manaker, Jamie Rule

Combined Choirs

Bob Chilcott    I Lift My Eyes

Concert Chorus Members:  Giorgina Agostini ’15, Alex Aguilar ’14, Carolyn Babendreier ’15,

Kathryn Bell ’1*2, Anna Berman ’14, Kathleen Brown ’13, Sophia Buono ’14,

Amanda Courtney ’13, Alex Gadiano ’12*, Amanda Hernandez ’12*, Jacqueline Hojilla ’14,

Maria Kehrli ’15, Samantha Kenis ’15, Carolyn Lucas ‘12*, Angel Maimone ’12*,

Madeline Manaker ’12*, Maddie Navin’14,Anne Parkinson ’13, Gianna Ridout ’14,

Monica Rudy ’13, Jamie Rule ’12*, Krista Thomas ’15, Marissa Migliore ’13,

Roselyne Marete ’14, Cathryn Treco ’14             


 Music Director: Ms. Anne Marie Miller

Accompanist: Mr. Neil Weston

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Oakcrest Co-Valedictorian and Student Council President to Play Division One Softball for Colgate University


McLean, Va. (April 20, 2012) –  Oakcrest School in McLean proudly announces senior Alexandra Joy Gadiano has signed a Letter of Intent to play Division One softball at Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y.  Gadiano is Student Council President at Oakcrest, and has just been named co-Valedictorian for the Oakcrest graduating class of 2012.  She is also a recipient of the prestigious Veritas Award, a merit-based, $7,500 tuition remission per year for four years at Oakcrest School.

With a career batting average of .718, Gadiano has played shortstop on the Oakcrest Varsity Softball team for seven years, since she was in sixth grade.  Gadiano’s athletic achievements and titles include 2011 PVAC Player of the Year, 2011 Oakcrest Athlete of the Year, PVAC First Team All Conference for the past three years, Varsity Letter Recipient (Starting Middle Infielder) and MVP Award.  Gadiano was a member of the 2009 and 2011 PVAC Conference and Tournament Champions teams (Oakcrest Varsity Softball).  Just this Tuesday, Gadiano hit a grand slam for Oakcrest against Grace Bretheren.  A talented swimmer, Gadiano has been on the Oakcrest Varsity Swim Team since eighth grade.

In addition to playing Varsity sports at Oakcrest since 2005, Alex also plays for the National Shamrocks Team, an elite national team based in Northern Virginia.  With the Shamrocks, Gadiano has played in tournaments around the country, including CA, NC, CO and FL.

Gadiano will wear #28 for Colgate, playing the position of outfielder/ middle infielder.  As a superior athlete and the co-Valedictorian of Oakcrest’s graduating class of 2012, Gadiano is well-suited for Colgate, which has been recognized as having the highest athlete GPA in Division One. In addition to being the co-Valedictorian and a Veritas Award recipient, Gadiano’s impressive scholarship career includes the following distinctions: AP Scholar with Honor Award, National Spanish Honor Society National Spanish Exam Silver Medalist (2009 & 2010) and National Spanish Exam Honorable Mention (2011), National Junior Honor Society, National Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society.  Gadiano has attended Oakcrest since the 6th grade and plans to double major in Chemistry/Bio-Chemistry and Spanish while at Colgate University.

Oakcrest School is an independent school for girls grades 6-12 guided by the teachings of the Catholic Church.


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“Seussical” is a Smashing Success!

On Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, the Upper School put on a spectacular performance of “Seussical, the Musical”!  With only six minutes that are not set to music, the show was quite an undertaking for the cast, crew, Music Director Anne Miller, and Show Director Jessica Carey.

From Ms. Carey: “March 2, 2012, our opening night, would have been Dr. Seuss’ 98th birthday. It is also “National Read Across America Day” in celebration of his life and the impact he had on many generations of children. I hope that our performance will inspire you to share these stories with the young people in your life and share the love of learning and the value of kindness with a new generation.”

Reviewed by The Washington Post and ShowBiz Radio by the Cappies Group, the musical was a smash hit!

Sixty-three Cappies from local area high schools such as Madiera, George Mason High School and Bishop Ireton attended last weekend’s Saturday performance of “Seussical, the Musical.”  The Cappies is a National Critics and Awards Program which trains high school theater and journalism students as critics.  These students attend and write reviews of local high school theatre productions which are then selected by a panel of judges to be published in local newspapers and national online news sites.  After each show, attending Cappies select actors and production staff to receive “critic’s choice” distinctions.   At the end of the season, nominees are selected from the critic’s choices and a winner is chosen based on votes at a formal Cappies Gala in June.  Top award honorees from around the U.S. and Canada are invited to participate in the Cappies International Theater, which performs shows at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  The Oakcrest Cappies are Carolyn L., Bonnie N., Angel M., Amanda C., Kat O., Madeleine L., Emilie K., Maria K., and Laura C.

At the Saturday performance at Oakcrest, the visiting Cappies were greeted in a special reception room by an Oakcrest School Cappie Ambassador.  Elaborate Dr. Seuss-themed refreshments, such as “poodles eating noodles” and “Green Eggs and Ham” quiche prepared by parent volunteers, gave the visiting critics a taste of Oakcrest’s creativity and hospitality. Thank you to all the families involved, especially Mr. and Mrs. Courtney, Mrs. Lucas (Cappies Ambassador), Mrs. Cermak and Mrs. and Mr. Knudsen.

Check out the five reviews on the Cappies website HERE.


Horton the Elephant, played by Sophie B.


Cat in the Hat, played by Dale D.


Jojo, played by Madeleine L., Mr. Mayor, played by Jamie R., and Mrs. Mayor, played by Madie K.


Gertrude McFuzz, played by Carolyn L.


Mayzie La Bird, played by Gianna R.


Sour Kangaroo, played by Angel M.


Bird Girls, played by Kathryn B., Andrea M., and Cathryn T.


Wickersham Brothers, played by Alexandra D., Roselyne M., and Kat O.

General Genghis Khan Schmitz, played by Ali G.

The Grinch, played by Helen C.

Vlad Vladikoff, played by Angélica-María M.

Yertle the Turtle, played by Maddie N.

Bonnie N. and Sophie F., playing Thing One and Thing Two.

Ensemble: Mary Beth B., Anna B., Laura C., Amanda C., Mary D., Andy E., Paula K., Emilie K., Carolina L., Catherine W.

To view and purchase professional photos, click HERE (password: chargers).

Photos by Brian Searby Photography.

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