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Ensembles at Compass Arts

Compass Arts' definition-defying ensembles are the greatest expression of its creativity project vision. These programs teach the craft of acting, singing, and playing musical instruments while developing the students' skills as writers, creators, artists/makers, and leaders. As the interest continues to grow in these child-centered, empowering, creatively emergent performance groups, the staff at Compass Arts have been working on how best to serve the creativity of the students and scaffold skill development in developmentally appropriate ways. Imagination Playhouse or Rompatom performances are spaces where parents are often surprised by "I-didn't-know-they-could-do-that" moments, and Beacon Rising Women's chorus performances are heartfelt opportunities to join, celebrate and inspire our concentric communities. We strongly cherish how much of a family we are at Compass Arts and we are always eager to have our family grow with new faces, new energy and new ideas.

NOTE: Over the course of the school year, and especially close to performances, there will be some additional rehearsals for most of the ensemble classes.


Romp and PlayRomp and Play: Explorations in Music, Movement, and Theater
For children in Pre-K - 1st grade (4-6/7 years-old)
Taught by Gina Samardge and CACP staff

This creative music and theater ensemble class prepares students for both Rompatom and Imagination Playhouse. Using stories, songs, games, movement, and rhymes, students will begin to build both a musical and theatrical vocabulary while laying a foundation of skills in acting, singing, movement and percussion instrument playing. Students will develop basic techniques on the percussion instruments; explore musical concepts and character development through stories, movement, and music; design and build parts of their own costumes and props; and create an original retelling of an existing story. Pre-K students must be 4 years old by September 26th to participate in this class.

  • CURRENT/UPCOMING SESSIONS:
  • New session coming in winter, please check back

Imagination PlayhouseImagination Playhouse
For students in 2nd-4th/5th grade
Taught by Gina Samardge and Eric Saiet

Imagination Playhouse builds upon the foundational skills developed in Romp and Play while nurturing the vast, creative minds and emerging understanding of plot and story structure in children of this age. Through the use of improvisation and theater games, creative play, singing, instruments, art, design, and movement, students will take an existing story, poem, or song and create an original work framed around that piece. Throughout the semester, students will work on creating the production while also honing their acting skills and learning how to collaborate effectively while creating in ensemble.In the spirit of the oral tradition of storytelling, each child has the opportunity to help make the story their own: creating their own character within the story; writing original dialogue created through improv and writing exercises; designing and making parts of their costumes, set pieces, and props; helping to write some of the music and lyrics; and creating dances. **Students in the 5th grade who have never participated in Imagination Playhouse should register for this class, not Theater Crafters.

  • CURRENT/UPCOMING SESSIONS:
  • New session coming in winter, please check back

Come see the performance on January 25!

Stage CraftersTheater Crafters
For students in 5th/6th** - 8th grade
Taught by Eric Saiet and Gina Samardge

Theater Crafters builds upon the skills learned in Imagination Playhouse to give the students the opportunity to craft their own original work in a variety of capacities. Through the improvisation and theater games, students will continue to hone not only their acting skills but their ability to create on their feet and in the moment. They will learn how to improvise beyond simple games and use these improvisations as spring boards for writing original work. Over the course of the year the students will work on original pieces, both in smaller groupings and as an ensemble. The exact course of the final production will emerge organically with the students' interests and under the guidance of Eric and Gina. Music, dance, and design of costumes, set, and props will continue to be part of the students creative journey, with the potential of an additional class developing to focus more intently on the theatrical design and build. **Students in the 5th grade who have never participated in Imagination Playhouse should register for Imagination Playhouse, not Theater Crafters.

  • CURRENT/UPCOMING SESSIONS:
  • New session coming in winter, please check back

Come see the performance on January 25!

Rompatom PrepRompatom Prep Ensemble
For 2nd-4th/5th grade
Taught by Gina Samardge

Rompatom Prep continues to build upon the foundational skills developed in Rompin' in the Playhouse and prepare students for the Rompatom Ensemble. Over the course of the session, students will learn to read basic rhythms; play in ensemble on percussive instruments like xylophones, drums, and small percussion; experience versatility with their voices and bodies through singing and movement; be introduced to beginning percussion, soprano recorder and ukulele technique; improvise and create simple melodies, movements, rhythms, and rhymes. This holistic approach to learning music based in pedagogies such as Orff-Schulwerk, Kodaly, and Dalcroze immerses students in the process of active music making, allowing them to embody musical concepts and thoroughly have a good time. Students in Rompatom Prep will perform on the same concerts with Rompatom and may be invited to perform with Rompatom at community events.

We are an inclusive community and a safe space and seek members with a love of music, movement, theater and play, and an interest in connecting in positivity and spreading that into the community!.

**Students in the 5th grade who have never participated in the Rompatom program are recommended to register for Rompatom Prep, but may talk with Gina after the introduction class to see which group is the best fit for their child. Please email Gina@CompassArts.org with any other questions.

  • CURRENT/UPCOMING SESSIONS:
  • New session coming in winter, please check back

Come see the performance on January 25!

Rompatom EnsembleRompatom Ensemble
For 5th/6th-8th grade
Taught by Gina Samardge

Rompatom ensemble includes singing, movement, theatrics, instrumental play, and improvisation on xylophones, ukulele, recorders (sopranino, soprano, alto, and tenor), and drums. Technique, reading, complex rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic work, and improvisation will all be developed during the course of the school year. Students who play another instrument may have an opportunity to incorporate it into some pieces in the ensemble as well. Over the course of the semester, students will prepare an eclectic mix of material, including a wide range of traditional world music-influenced pieces, folk, classical, rock/pop, jazz and musical theater. This is a co-collaboration between students and director and part of the process will be focused on positive ensemble collaboration skill development. Movement and dance will be explored and possibly incorporated into some of the musical numbers. The performances weave together these various explorations and pieces into a magical journey of music, humor, theater, mystery, dance, and joy. There is nothing out there quite like this! Students in Rompatom have two concerts they produce during the school year as well as some community performances, such as Newburgh Illuminated and Spirit of Beacon Day.

This is a co-collaboration between students and director and part of the process will be focused on positive ensemble collaboration, empowerment, and leadership development with the students. Students in Rompatom have two concerts they produce during the school year as well as some community performances, such as Newburgh Illuminated and Spirit of Beacon Day. We are an inclusive community and a safe space and seek members with a love of music, movement, theater and play, and an interest in connecting in positivity and spreading that into the community.

**Students in the 5th grade who have never participated in the Rompatom program are recommended to register for Rompatom Prep, but may talk with Gina after the introduction class to see which group is the best fit for their child. Please email Gina@CompassArts.org with any other questions.

  • CURRENT/UPCOMING SESSIONS:
  • New session coming in winter, please check back

Come see the performance on January 25!

Compass Arts Women's Choir Gina SamardgeBeacon Rising Women's Choir
Directed by Gina Samardge
Weekly AND once a month options

Beacon Rising Women's Choir was conceived out of a combination of a Women's Singing Circle led by Kim Chase and Gina Samardge, and an impromptu Resistance Choir inspired by what has become the anthem of the Women's March, Milck's "I Can't Keep Quiet." The choir performs an annual concert as a fundraiser for a local non-profit doing the good work in our community, as well as participating in community events, protests, and other area fundraisers. The choir sings a variety of styles and genres that focus on resistance, peace, and bringing voice to issues we are facing as a society and planet, with an eye toward interesting, beautiful, and artistic literature.

Those unable to make a weekly commitment may participate in our once a month street choir. This group will learn the simpler protest songs in our once a month rehearsals and be invited to perform in both the concert as well as our various community engagements.

No experience is necessary for either choir, however some prior experience can be helpful. All new members must attend a placement audition on September 16th. Join us for an incredible weekly celebration of women and let's make our voices heard!

  • CURRENT/UPCOMING SESSIONS:
  • New sessions coming in winter, please check back

Don't miss the performance either the weekend of February 1st/2nd or 8th/9th 2020!

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