Written by Jadan Washington, Wyatt Reu, and Patrick Markovics |
On February 6, The Morgan School hosted its 6th annual Poetry Out Loud contest. The event took place in the auditorium early Friday morning and was emceed by seniors Brian Gendron and Chase Lemay and was organized by Ms. Wickam and her Uconn English Class.
Poetry out Loud is a national competition where students have to memorize two poems and perform them in front of an audience and several judges. When they perform each poem, they are supposed to embody the poem and make it come alive. Contestants for Morgan’s contest memorized two poems from the Poetry Out Loud Website, only performing their second poem if they were one of the three performers who made it to the second round.
The contestants were Freshman Caitlin Jenkins, Sophomores Sasha Krivosky and Juliana Ragonese, Junior Andrew Tessman, and Seniors Celia Lacross, Andrew Tran, and Bailey Shea. The performances were judged by Superintendent Jack Cross, English Teachers Paul Serenbetz, Julie Frydenborg, Heather Iverson, Special Education teacher Joann Cozzolino, and Speech Pathologist Nicole Johnson. Mathematics teacher Alan Samet tabulated the results, and World Language teacher Laura Luther was prompter.
On February 5, the day before the Poetry Out Loud competition, the students met in the auditorium to have one final practice on the stage. The room was full of laughter and nervous energy as each contestant frantically tried to remember his or her poem. When asked how she felt Juliana said, “I’m nervous but excited. My poems are a lot longer than last year, but I’m very excited.” Andrew Tran, a returning participant of Poetry Out Loud shared his reasoning for doing the competition again, “I guess I just liked the experience of reciting poetry with other people, and meeting people from other towns was really cool.”
Andrew Tessman, Andrew Tran, and Bailey Shea made the final round, and each performed a second poem. During intermission, Danny Khalifa, The Morgan Chorus, and Brian Gendron and Chase LeMay performed. Following intermission, the winners were announced: Andrew Tran was the winner with Bailey Shea as the runner up.
In previous years, the winner of Morgan’s Poetry Out Loud would perform in the state championship, but this year Andrew will particpate in the Southern Regional Final At Masuk High School in Monroe, CT on February 25, 2015. If Andrew is one of the top 7 students, he will then go on to the state finals at Central Connecticut State University to compete against the top 7 students from the Northern Regional Final.
Audience members, judges and contestants all had a great time at the event. Audience members shared some of their favorite poems. After the first round, Sophomore Deshaun James said, “I liked Andrew Tran’s first poem because I felt it told a good story.” Freshman Emma Riccio said, “I liked Sasha Krivosky’s poem because she put a lot of emotion into it.” Superintendent Mr. Cross said, ” I like how the spirit of the students comes out in the articulation of the poems.”
Poetry Out Loud was an overall success and an enjoyable event for all who attended. Good luck to Andrew Tran as he moves on to the regional final!