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Brookwood High Student Wins Congressional Art Competition

U.S. Rep. John Linder, R-Duluth, recently honored 36 high school students at a reception and awards presentation at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center for the participants of the Seventh Congressional District Art Competition.

This year the first place ribbon was awarded to Rachel Brunelle, a junior at Brookwood High School.

Rachel entered a charcoal work entitled "Contemplation" to win the first place prize. She, along with other students from nine different schools in the Seventh District, competed for prizes including scholarships to The Art Institute of Atlanta and the Savannah College of Art and Design.

As the first place winner, Rachel won a trip to participate in the National Gala Celebration "An Artistic Discovery" exhibit in Washington, D. C., on June 25. The exhibit consists of pieces from young artists across the country and will be displayed for a full year in the corridor leading to the U.S. Capitol.

"Rachel is an outstanding artist," Linder said. "It will be an honor to have such a skilled artist representing the Seventh District of Georgia."

This year's second place winner was Kristen Smith of Phoenix High School, and third place was awarded to Melissa LaBoy from Brookwood High School.

Honorable Mention designees included Aubrey Gauthier of Phoenix High School and Sandy Mitchell, Alexandra Woods and Jenna Pallansch from Brookwood High School.

"It is always a privilege to hold events that highlight the creativity and talents of our youth. As can be seen from all of these entries, the Seventh Congressional District is certainly full of talented and creative young artists," Linder said. "Each year that I sponsor this competition, I am more and more amazed at the quality of the works submitted."

Students win in state 'Reflections' contest

The Georgia PTA recently announced the winners of the state Reflections contest. The program offers students the opportunity to create works of art for fun and recognition. Students in preschool through grade 12 are encouraged to create and submit works of art in one or more of six areas: literature, musical composition, photography, visual arts (which includes art forms such as drawing, painting, print making and collage), dance choreography and film/video production.

National PTA believes all children deserve a quality arts education and encourages students to pursue artistic expression through participation in its annual arts Reflections Program, according to its Web site. In its more than 30-year history, the program has encouraged millions of students across the nation and in American schools overseas to create works of art.

The following students will submit entries to the national competition:

* Weston Bell, third-grader at Simpson Elementary - film/video production

* Hannah Hu, first-grader at Chattahoochee Elementary - musical composition

* Michael Park, eighth-grader at Lanier Middle - visual arts

* Justin Thongsouk, fourth-grader at Duncan Creek Elementary - musical composition

* Derek Vann, 10th-grader at Norcross High - musical composition

The following Gwinnett County Public Schools students won awards in the state competition:

Special Artist State Winners

* Mohammad Ahmed, fifth-grader at Walnut Grove Elementary - third place, Photography

* Christian Austin, seventh-grader at Trickum Middle - first place, Visual Arts

* Devin Boykins, eighth-grader at Lanier Middle - first place, Photography

* Ross Elgin, sixth-grader at Lanier Middle - second place, Visual Arts

* Brandon Hall, sixth-grader at Lanier Middle - honorable mention, Visual Arts

* Charlie Kerry, sixth-grader at Lanier Middle - first place, Visual Arts

* Sean Lee, eighth-grader at Creekland Middle - first place, Literature

* Nathalie Pena, third-grader at Walnut Grove Elementary - first place, Photography

* Alejandra Rincon, seventh-grader at Lanier Middle - third place, Visual Arts

* Noah Sabouni, sixth-grader at Lanier Middle - third place, Visual Arts

* Keith Still, fifth-grader at Brookwood Elementary - first place, Literature

* Andrew Storey, 12th-grader at Peachtree Ridge High - first place, Visual Arts

* Brittany Turner, seventh-grader at Trickum Middle - first place, Visual Arts

Musical Composition State Winners

* Aidan Arness, first-grader at Level Creek Elementary - first place

* Alex Claussen, sixth-grader at Pickneyville Middle - third place

* Kyle Cowdrick, ninth-grader at Brookwood High - second place

* Hannah Hu, kindergartner at Chattahoochee Elementary - first place

* Jonathan Li, seventh-grader at Duluth Middle - first place

* Camila Liau, sixth-grader at Osborne Middle - honorable mention

* Steven Melin, 12th-grader at Mill Creek High - first place

* Paul Molinari, fifth-grader at Duncan Creek Elementary - second place

* Kia Quinlan, eighth-grader at Hull Middle - third place

* William Sauls, 11th-grader at Brookwood High - third place

* Justin Thongsouk, fourth-grader at Duncan Creek Elementary - first place

* Derek Vann, 10th-grader at Norcross High - first place

Dance Choreography State Winners

* Kendall Burrell, third-grader at Grayson Elementary - honorable mention

* Virginia Green, eighth-grader at Hull Middle - honorable mention

* Sarah Rice, second-grader at Gwin Oaks Elementary - second place

* Mary Rousseau, ninth-grader at the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology - first place

* Torion Sellers Jr., fourth-grader at Grayson Elementary - second place

* Georgia Whitmer, kindergartner at Peachtree Elementary - third place

* Morgan Williams, kindergartner at McKendree Elementary - second place

Photography State Winners

* Sydney Beatty, fifth-grader at Craig Elementary - third place

* Haley Bollinger, 10th-grader at Parkview High - first place

* Chloe Fernandes, eighth-grader at Lanier Middle - second place

* Ryan Karry, first-grader at Simpson Elementary - second place

* Natalie Lutz, eighth-grader at Hull Middle - first place

* Ty McCaffrey, second-grader at McKendree Elementary - honorable mention

* Valerie Novak, kindergartner at Rock Springs Elementary - honorable mention

Film/Video Production State Winners

* Weston Bell, third-grader at Simpson Elementary - first place

* Chanale Buchanon, 11th-grader at Parkview High - second place

* Jack Davidson, kindergartner at Fort Daniel Elementary - third place

* Arturo Diaz, fifth-grader at Pharr Elementary - first place

* Jennifer Frisco, 11th-grader at Collins Hill High - first place

* Erin Magner, second-grader at Minor Elementary - second place

* Justin Wambold, first-grader at Level Creek Elementary - second place

Visual Arts State Winners

* Nahyun Chung, eigth-grader at Hull Middle - third place

* Lindsay Dady, 10th-grader at Brookwood High - second place

* Carrandra Guilarte, 10th-grader at North Gwinnett High - third place

* Caroline Kim, fourth-grader at Jackson Elementary - third place

* Emily Kim, fifth-grader at Riverside Elementary - second place

* Ho Seong Kim, ninth-grader at Brookwood High - second place

* Jae Kim, seventh-grader at Jones Middle - third place

* Dayour Kwan, sixth-grader at Creekland Middle - third place

* Michael Park, eigth-grader at Lanier Middle - first place

* Dongju Son, third-grader at Mason Elementary - third place

* Kareena Udeshi, first-grader at Arcado Elementary - third place

* Anna Um, third-grader at Simpson Elementary - second place

* Allison Vallecillo, 12th-grader at North Gwinnett High - third place

* Luya You, ninth-grader at Duluth High - third place

* Serena Zhang, 11th-grader at Duluth High - second place

Literature State Winners

* Amber Kidwell, seventh-grader at Lanier Middle - second place

* Claire Rogers, fifth-grader at Walnut Grove Elementary - third place

* Aveek Seaker, ninth-grader at Duluth High - third place

Wesleyan band performs at Disney

Wesleyan School's advanced band members took the stage at the Walt Disney World Resort in March during the fourth annual Festival Disney.

During the event, the ensembles participated in adjudicated performances, personalized feedback clinics and a high-energy awards ceremony.

Ensembles from as far away as Japan have packed their sheet music, instruments, flags and dance shoes to travel to the Walt Disney World Resort and take part in the largest single site Disney-produced music festival each weekend until May 10.

The festival series schedule includes two days of adjudicated performances, where band, choral, dance, auxiliary, jazz, and concert ensembles receive valuable written and recorded feedback from nationally recognized music educators.

To conclude the event, groups are invited to the Festival Disney Awards Ceremony. All ensembles receive an exclusive Festival Disney Award, and participants receive a Festival Disney Medal to commemorate their participation. Competing groups will vie for Best in Class and Festival Disney Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards.

Each director selects the group's classification and one of three adjudication categories when they register. The categories include Competition - where groups are rated and ranked for the top awards, Ratings Only - where the ensemble is awarded a rating but not a ranking, and Comments Only - where the group receives only written and verbal feedback. Immediately following their performance, concert ensembles will participate in a feedback clinic with one of the adjudicators.

Festival Disney is open to junior, middle and high school music groups.

Heather Darenberg writes about education. More Good News From Schools appears online Monday.