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.
Compass Arts Creativity Project offers payment plan options for all of our classes and ensembles. If you are interested in a payment plan for one or more of our classes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to set this up.
Team Creative Directions (TCD)
For 5th through 8th grade students
Led by Gina Samardge and Gwynne Watkins
There are so many ways to tell a story; to express an idea, a thought, a feeling; to share your own unique voice and speak out about what's important to you. What do you want to say? How do you want to say it? In this pilot program students will meet to explore a variety of art forms and tools they can use to express themselves, tell a story, and create independently or with others.
Each meeting will start with some kind of creative warm up to get the juices flowing, share examples of different art forms that they might use, and help them discover where their passions lie. There will be idea shares, partnering for collaborative projects, opportunities to share work and receive feedback and guidance from teachers (if desired by the students), and moments to connect as a community and support one another. Students may have clear thoughts about what they want to create or may just want to explore a different medium each class or help another student work on their idea; each person will be supported in their own process as they uncover the skills they have to offer and are encouraged to stretch themselves and play.
For students in 5th/6th** - 8th grade
Taught by Gina Samardge and Compass Arts staff
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
For 5th/6th-8th grade
Taught by Gina Samardge and Compass Arts staff
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.
Beacon Rising Choir - In Person/Hybrid
Directed by Gina Samardge
This is the "sing outside with masks as much as possible and Zoom when it rains" choir class for spring 2021.
Beacon Rising 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 winter 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 in the fall and spring. 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. New members will need to attend a voice placement with the director.
No experience is necessary for either choir, however some prior experience is helpful. Email Gina@CompassArts.org to schedule your 15 minute voice placement and interview.