The fly loft of the Leach Center for the Performing Arts, bedecked in a red ribbon

A new stage and a new program!

The beginning of school year has been an exciting one for many reasons, but for the Colorado Academy Visual and Performing Arts Department, there are a couple of additions to our program that we are beyond thrilled to share with you this year and for years to come.

The first, you can’t miss. It sits on the southwest corner of campus, and its roofline is now the tallest point on campus. The Leach Center for the Performing Arts opened its doors to the community on Monday, August 23, 2021.

You will notice the height of the south wall, which stands at 48 feet, for this houses the fly loft, an extremely large space above the stage where scenery and lighting can hang out of audience view until it is needed for a scene.

Each division had the pleasure of experiencing the new space by welcoming back Bryan Terrell Clark to the Main Stage of the Leach Center during our first week of school. Mr. Clark is one of our favorite Broadway stars, and he is most famous for his role as George Washington in the Broadway hit, Hamilton. Watching the children playfully interact with this talented artist, while they each soaked in the “wow” factor of the new theater, was a memory I won’t soon forget.

Group piano lessons debut

Our second addition to the Visual and Performing Arts program this year takes place in the Schotters Music Center. The Music Department has built a piano lab on the lower level of the music building and debuted a group piano lesson program for every First Grader. Our First Grade students have music class three times a week. One of those days, each First Grade class will be split in half and attend a small group lesson with our new Piano Instructor, Maria Wietrzynska (pronounced Vyet-SHIN-ska). The children call her simply “Ms. W.”

The lab consists of ten piano keyboards, so each child will have their own keyboard as they learn alongside one another. Learning to play an instrument has many benefits, from improving math and counting skills to encouraging creative expression. This is a program that will create a foundation for all of our young musicians and students.

It will be special day when we see one of our First Graders (Class of 2033) take the stage in the Leach Center for the Performing Arts for the first time. When I think back to this year, I will always be grateful to the many people at CA that it took to make these two wonderful components of our program a reality.