Fine Arts Highlights

Spring Semester 2023 of The Word Magazine
In the spring semester issue of The Word Magazine, DSHA highlighted several amazing accomplishments from the Fine Arts Department. 
Students enrolled in AP Art: 2D Design each created a portfolio of twenty original pieces around a central theme in the mediums of their choice. Throughout the month of May, seniors had the opportunity to display their final work at the AP Art Exhibit in the DSHA Commons and the Fridl Family Foyer. The course is instructed by Fine Arts Department Chair & Visual Arts Faculty Nora Larscheid.


As a part of the AP Art course, students have the opportunity to prepare pieces for submission to the Scholastic Art Awards where they were juried in various art categories. These prestigious recognitions acknowledge excellence in the visual arts and encourage the artistic endeavors of young people throughout the state of Wisconsin. On February 19, three DSHA artists received awards and earned acknowledgement at the 2023 Scholastic Arts Competition and Exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

"I really learned the value of trying new mediums I haven't before and experimenting with new methods while taking inspiration from other famous artists and my peers. It was fun to find my creative voice through personal experiences and other artistic influences.”
—Lillian Janisch, DSHA ’23

This spring, Quinn Jennings, DSHA ’23, was awarded with state and national recognition in multiple categories by the Scholastic Writing Awards. These awards honor students with exceptional literary talent and gives them opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships. Jennings received the prestigious Gold Key in the critical essay and poetry categories. Her critical essay A Mocking Yet Honest Reflection and her poem Recollections of Home will advance to the national competition where she will compete for the distinction of National Medalist. Jennings also received a Silver Key in the writing portfolio category, and honorable mentions in the categories of humor, personal essay and memoir, critical essay, and flash fiction. This fall, Jennings will attend the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in the Divisions of Cinema and Media Studies and Writing for Screen.

My English classes and teachers have challenged me to consider every possibility when writing and to never shy away from an idea because it seems too complex or intimidating to tackle. I am very grateful to receive recognition from such a prestigious program, and I feel very proud of the work that has managed to connect with other people.”
—Quinn Jennings, DSHA ’23



Between March 2-5, DSHA Theatre presented four performances of the stage play, Trap, by Stephen Gregg. Twenty-seven Dashers performed on stage in the cast, while eleven students served as the stage crew, designing, building, and producing the show behind-the scenes. The play was set in a theatre where everyone in the audience fell unconscious except for one person. The documentary-style drama was packed with twists, turns, and the flair of a thriller, and kept its audience on the edge of their seats. The show was directed by DSHA Director of Theatre, Choir, and Liturgical Music Zachary Ziegler, with set design and crew oversight by DSHA Fine Arts Faculty and Theatre Producing Director Amanda Marsala.

Fall Musical Sister Act Earns Seven Jerry Awards
DSHA's fall musical, Sister Act, was an upbeat, laugh-out-loud hilarious and vibrant musical with fabulous voices, Catholic fun, incredible dance moves, and talent from Dashers. The show received numerous Jerry Awards which were named on May 5. The Jerry Awards, run by the Overture Center in Madison, recognizes excellence in high school musical theatre across Wisconsin.

Congratulations to the following Jerry Award winners!

  • Maeve Pickart, DSHA ’23 | Outstanding Leading Performance Award
  • Sarah Daniels, DSHA ’23 | Outstanding Supporting Performance Award
  • Caelinn Carraher, DSHA ’23 | Outstanding Supporting Performance Award
  • Ella Connelly, DSHA ’24 | Outstanding Supporting Performance Award
  • Sandrine Biaugui, DSHA ’23 | Spirit Award
  • Emily Fricker, DSHA ’24 | Spirit Award
  • Theatre Producing Director and Fine Arts Faculty Amanda Marsala | Outstanding Scenic Design Award


On May 5, the DSHA vocal music students performed a concert rooted in the theme, Oh Lord, in the morning You will hear my voice, from Psalm 5:3. The Concert Choir performed a classic folk tune, Treat People with Kindness by Harry Styles, How Beautiful by Twila Paris, among other songs. The Angelaires performed twelve arrangements across a variety of genres—from folk and Broadway, to classics and oldies. Both choirs are directed by DSHA Director of Theatre, Choir, and Liturgical Music Zachary Ziegler.  

During the first weekend in May, vocal music students who qualified at the Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) District Solo and Ensemble Festival performed at the WSMA State Festival. The Angelaries were awarded with the high selective Exemplary Performance honor in the category of SSA/A Show Choir. To earn this, adjudicators identify exceptional performances at each of the state festival campuses and come together to vote for final selections. Additionally, six individual Dashers received first
ratings at the festival in the following categories:

  • Genevieve Baynes, DSHA '24 | Classical Solo* 
  • Sandrine Biagui, DSHA '23 | Classical Solo
  • Caelinn Carraher, DSHA '23 | Classical Solo & Musical Theatre Solo
  • Julia Mansfield, DSHA '23 | Classical Solo
  • Sera Stephenson, DSHA '24 | Classical Solo & Musical Theatre Solo*
  • Caelinn Carraher, DSHA '23, and Maeve Pickart, DSHA '23 | Musical Theatre Duet 
*Nominated for Exemplary Performance Recognition 

Participating in the solo and ensemble competition with the Angelaires was a truly enriching experience. Not only were we given an opportunity to showcase our abilities, but we were given new perspectives on how to improve as a group. Working together to enhance our dynamics, tone, movement, and more absolutely made us a more cohesive choir and I’m excited to see where this experience takes us.”
—Sera Stephenson, DSHA ’24



On May 1, the Varsity Handbells, and two sections of JV Handbells performed the annual Spring Hanbellpalooza. The groups performed a variety of tunes from Led Zeppelin and Adele, to Disney themes and traditional pieces from Ireland and New Zealand. Additionally, all three DSHA Handbells ensembles performed their concert repertoire for the residents at Layton Terrace Senior Community in May. 

Hallelujah Handel served as the theme for the spring orchestra concert on May 3. Members of the DSHA Orchestra and the Divine Strings each performed works by Handel, along with the theme from Schindler’s List, a John Williams Trilogy, and more. In April, the Divine Strings also performed for the noon Mass at the Basilica of St. Josaphat. 

During the first weekend in May, the DSHA Divine Strings received a first rating at the Wisconsin School Music Association State Solo and Ensemble Festival for their performance of the theme from Schindler’s List and a John Williams Trilogy.

Additionally, four individual Dashers received first ratings at the festival in the following categories:

Carolina Islas, DSHA '26 | Cello Solo
Sophia Collins, DSHA '26, and Yessica Rodriguez, DSHA '25 | Violin Solo
Gisela Adelson, DSHA '26 | Piano Solo 

Cellist Carolina Islas, DSHA ’26, and violinists Sophia Campos, DSHA ’24, and Yessica Rodriguez, DSHA ’25, were each selected for the prestigious honor of being named to the Wisconsin State High School Honors Orchestra. For over 50 years, the Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) State Honors Project has provided students from across Wisconsin the opportunity to rehearse and perform with nationally-recognized conductors in a professional setting. This year, more than 1,250 students auditioned, identifying Islas, Campos and Rodriguez as three of Wisconsin’s finest high school musicians. The group will perform in October at the State Music Conference in Madison.

"I’m excited to have made the orchestra and am eager to continue playing symphonic music with new people. I think being part of the organization will help me improve as a musician and collaborate with other musicians as well.”
—Carolina Islas, DSHA ’26

"I'm so excited to have made it because I'm looking forward to advancing my skills with new people in a new environment. We also get to work with renowned directors which will help further my abilities."
—Yessica Rodriguez, DSHA ’25
    • Three DSHA artists received awards and acknowledgement at the 2023 Scholastic Arts Competition and Exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

    • Quinn Jennings, DSHA '23

    • Left to right: Jenna Mansfield, DSHA '26; Maggie Weiner, DSHA '24; Sophie Wodracheck, DSHA '25; Delaney Scott, DSHA '25; and Keyshla Vega, DSHA '25, performing a scene in "Trap."

    • Left to right: Maeve Pickart, DSHA '23; Caelinn Carraher, DSHA '23; and Sandrine Biagui, DSHA '23; performing at the Spring Choral Concert.

    • Left to right: Lidia Mora Gallegos, DSHA '23, and Olivia Olson, DSHA '26, performing at the Spring Handbellpalooza.

    • Left to right: Eliana Idzikowski, DSHA '24; Mary Stith, DSHA '26; and Dylan Trampe, DSHA '26, performing at the Spring Orchestra Conert.


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