PERRY’S BEST Arts & Entertainment

Ariel Becker

Senior Ariel Becker began high school as a young freshman with much potential, unaware that she would start her own YouTube channel and win multiple awards over the next four years. What began as an introductory multimedia and film class, progressed into a future passion. With the help of her fellow students, Becker has won multiple awards for the school, as well as individual victories in film festivals. ”I entered a PSA competition for the state of Ariz. and won that… just kind of random things here and there,” Becker said.
Becker hopes to pursue film as a lifelong profession. “I’m going to Chapman University in Orange county to get a film production degree,” she said. Becker’s dream is to see her name scrolling through the credits of a future film.

Carmin Blanchard

Carmin Blanchard began taking art at the school her senior year, but she had already gained experience with two-dimensional art from practicing outside of the classroom. While she was able to develop her creativity on her own, Blanchard said, “[the class] has pushed me to learn techniques” such as shading and proportions in art.
She began the year by practicing drawing, but as she progressed in the class she found watercolor paints to be her favorite medium. Blanchard said of her paintings: “I did a well for my first project, but now I do animals and landscapes.”
Blanchard will go on to study nursing in college, but said that she will continue painting as a hobby after she graduates from high school.

Eliza Butcher

Like most students who pursue music, Eliza Butcher started playing instruments in her fifth grade band class. She decided to join marching band entering high school, and now she is a senior looking back on the impact program has had on her. “Perry band has helped me grown as a musician and a person. I’ve been able to develop qualities such as time management,” Butcher said.
These skills helped Butcher learn how to manage academics, band, and other activities. “I was really shy freshman year but now I’m more outgoing, and can talk to people next year,” Butcher said, as she hopes to minor in flute performance or music education. She also auditioned at BYU Provo for their symphonic and marching bands.

Arianna Fiandaca

While she is rarely seen onstage during the school’s theatre productions, senior Arianna Fiandaca has been a key contributor to the success of Perry Theatre Company through her lighting design and her coordination.
“What I’ve done over the years is I’ve slowly learned how to utilize color theory to better tell stories and reinforce messages in musicals and plays, as well as maintenancing the lighting instruments,” Fiandaca said of her work. The skills she has developed during her many productions have won her several awards, including two state championships for lighting design as a junior and senior. Next year, Fiandaca will attend ASU Barrett for theatre, hoping to bring her technical skills to bigger stages and audiences in the future.

Ty Kofahl

Senior Ty Kofahl specializes in ceramics and sculpture. He transferred to the school from Hamilton with the proper skill set, yet lacked a sense of direction in his art. To solve this, sculpture teacher Sharon Beimond pushed Kofahl to develop his own style.
He said that this pro

cess of discovery was “kind of rough, but eventually [he] got this sort of theme going.” He described his artistic theme as “zen in nature,” adding that many of his pieces include natural symbols, like trees.
His work, which he makes from clay and wire materials, won him a second place award for ceramics in the CUSD art show. After graduating, Kofahl plans to continue sculpting as a hobby.

Brook LaRosk

Since she was a little girl, Brooke LaRosk has had an admiration for music. Starting her freshman year in advanced women’s choir, followed by participation in both concert and jazz choirs, she ends her senior year solely in jazz. LaRosk expands her skills and knowledge in music through devotion: “this year I’m in AP music theory, so I’m trying to gain those skills,” LaRosk said. Growing up taking voice lessons and dabbling in show choirs and musical theater, LaRosk hopes to keep music in her future goals.
“I want to minor in music. I’m going to NAU this fall, my dream is to one-day sing backup for someone,” said LaRosk. As LaRosk takes her final steps out of high school and into adulthood, music will certainly be there to help guide her along.

Lily Smith

Senior Lily Smith made her debut as a dancer here at Perry when she was a freshman. “[I spent] first two [years] in advance dance, and then my junior and senior year apart of Movéo dance company.”
While there is no denying Smith’s raw talent, Smith has also exemplified compassion and humility beyond her years. These traits are made known by the fact she has won the “Movéo Mom” award for all the love and support she exudes.
Smith plans on attending the University of Arizona in the fall, majoring in speech language and hearing sciences with a minor in Spanish. Though she does not plan on continuing her career, she will continue dancing with recreational courses and is working towards her Yoga certification.

Morgan VandenBerg

Senior Jordan VandenBerg has had experience in orchestra since he was young. While at the school, the talented cello player has gotten many opportunities to travel and perform, such as to places like Carnegie Hall in New York and Washington D.C..
“It’s been a good experience in a number of ways. First of all, it has been really nice to advance my own musicality and have something outside of just academics, but on top of that it’s been a really great way to meet friends,” said VandenBerg. He is planning to attend Southern Methodist University (SMU), majoring primarily in computer science; however, he is still on the waitlist for Harvard University and will perhaps dual major in order to keep the cello in his life.

Kennedy Wagner

Senior Kennedy Wagner has used her photography talents throughout her high school years to capture many events with her camera, whether it be for class projects or for use in the school’s publications. While she began her photography practice using a film camera, the school has helped her transform into a confident digital photographer. Wagner’s photos have won her two awards: a superior award at the national JEA conference for journalism and a second place award at the CUSD art show for digital photography.
According to Wagner, her work behind the camera will not end after graduation. “Eventually I want to live and work in a third world country, so I want to do some photo projects documenting different culture,” Wagner said.