Hill is Alive with the Sound of Music

St. Joseph Hill Academy is dedicated to the holistic education of all students.  This includes providing our students with the opportunity to participate in the Performing Arts.  According to the American Alliance for Theater and Education (AATE), students who participate in the performing arts have higher rates of school attendance, better standardized test scores, improved communication skills and better reading comprehension.  In addition to positively impacting academics, it has been shown that performing arts education helps students to discover their own voice, grow in confidence, develop empathy and increase ethical insight.  Among the skills students will acquire are: creativity, confidence, problem solving, and perseverance.  Whether the show is The Lion King, or Sound of Music, or the Christmas Concert, or the Spring Concert, the new Performing Arts Studio will take center stage as the students rehearse and prepare for their performance. 

The Performing Arts has always maintained an active presence in both the High School and the Elementary School at St. Joseph Hill Academy.  As our programs continue to grow, so did the need to construct a professional Performing Arts Studio!  Hill’s new Performing Arts studio has been designed to be state of the art.  We are pleased that we were able to redo the floors and ceiling, renovate two bathrooms, install full wall mirrors; and mount lighted, mirrored makeup and hair stations. We now have storage cubbies for the students to keep their belongings, racks for costumes and a closet for props. The renovations also included the installation of new air-conditioning and heating and a new water fountain. 

In early December, 2020, Mr. Hansen received a call from a Hill Alumna, Ms. Kathleen O’Dea Mezzano (HS ’72, ES ’68), a graduate of both the elementary school and the high school.  She asked Mr. Hansen if the school had any need for a piano.  As construction on the new Performing Arts Studio was in progress, Mr. Hansen knew exactly the piano would be a perfect addition to the newly upgraded space.  We certainly did need a piano and we gratefully accepted Mrs. Mezzano’s donation which she made in memory of her late brother Kevin, a 1972 graduate of Hill’s elementary school.  

Mrs. Mezzano recalled the many happy years that she spent at Hill and how her brother enjoyed performing arts, appearing in many school shows over the years.  She indicated that her late mother, Mary, would have been so thrilled to know that the piano was going to be used at Hill and that so many young performers will be enjoying it. 

Needless to say, hundreds of our Alumni got their theatrical start on the Hill stage.  Many went on to enjoy professional careers in theater and others have transferred their performance skills to other careers.  In either case, their time on stage transformed their lives and built a strong foundation of confidence and love for the arts.

St. Joseph Hill Academy is currently accepting donations for our Performing Arts studio, and we invite you to consider supporting this highly valued new addition to our school. To donate, please visit www.stjosephhillacademy.com/donate/ and select Performing Arts Studio in the dropdown menu.

For additional information about how you can donate to our new Performing Arts studio, please contact: 

Dr. Elizabeth Basile, Director of Development, ebasile@stjhill.org or call (718) 447-1374 Ext 9163.