Members of the dance team are: Seniors: Julia Kaufmann (captain), Chloe Kim, Annie Luo, Sophie Mariam (captain), Dana Schaumburg (captain), Neeki Souri (captain) Juniors: Cayla Davis, Taylor Jackowski, Dylan Laufman, Kaitlyn Merritt (junior captain), Rachel Remer Sophomores: Kaiti Bachman, Alyssa Montes, Carenna Slotkoff, Isabella Swigart, Elizabeth Turnage, Rachel Zhang Freshmen: Mason Glembocki, Emma Jolley, Jillian Keilholtz, Brianna Walia Coaches: Jen Koonce, Nicole Moffitt, Jesus Villeda
The varsity dance team recently concluded its competition season with 3rd place awards in both jazz and pom at the Reach the Beach Nationals competition in Ocean City, Maryland. The dance team had its most successful season ever, winning several awards this year:
- 1st place jazz, Sweetheart Dance Invitational
- 1st place pom, Sweetheart Dance Invitational
- 1stplace jazz, NDA Capitol Classic
- 1stplace pom, NDA Capitol Classic
- 1stplace team home routine, UDA Summer Camp
- Superior trophy for highest average superior ribbons, UDA Summer Camp
- Highest number of All-American Dancers at UDA Summer Camp; seniors Julia Kaufmann, Chloe Kim, Sophie Mariam, Dana Schaumburg and Neeki Souri were selected for the All-American Award
- 2nd place solo award at Reach the Beach and 2nd place solo award at the Sweetheart Dance Invitational for senior captain Sophie Mariam
- 3rd place solo award at Reach the Beach and 5th place solo award at the Sweetheart Dance Invitational for sophomore Isabella Swigart
McLean’s music department won the highest honor at the Worldstrides Orlando Festival of Music this weekend, taking home the top prize for the highest combined score of any music department.
Our bands received the following awards:
Symphonic Band – 1st place in class 3A, Superior Rating, Instrumental Sweepstakes Champions, Festival of Gold Award, Adjudicator’s Award, Outstanding Band Ensemble Award, Festival Sweepstakes Award – Grand Champions
Wind Ensemble – 1st place in class 2A, Superior Rating
Jazz Ensemble – 1st place in class, Superior Rating, Adjudicator’s Award
Concert Band – 2nd place in class 1A, Excellent Rating
Alonso Flores, Tina Hashemi and Ben Hacker earned Soloist Awards.
Our orchestras received the following awards:
Philharmonic Orchestra – 1st place with a Gold rating
Symphonic Orchestra – 2nd place with a Gold rating
Concert Orchestra – Bronze rating
The McLean orchestra program took home the “Outstanding Orchestral Group” trophy for being the highest scoring orchestras at the competition.
Our student conductor, Tashi Gyatso, and soloists Minseon Kim and Charlie Tucker of the Philharmonic Orchestra earned the coveted Maestro awards for their outstanding work on Josef Suk’s “Serenade for Strings.”
Congratulations to all of McLean’s talented musicians!
The Highlander newsmagazine staff was presented with a Gold Crown at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) journalism convention at Columbia University in New York City on March 17. This is their second year in a row to receive this prestigious award.
The Highlander is the ONLY high school newspaper/newsmagazine in the state of Virginia to win a Gold Crown this year!
CSPA’s Gold Crown is one of the highest honors in scholastic journalism. According to the CSPA website, “publications are judged on their excellence as shown by their design, photography, concept, coverage and writing.” Congratulations!
Sabrina Vazquez, Alex Mandanas, Emily O’Keefe, Anya Chen and Nick Monroy accepted the CSPA Gold Crown on behalf of The Highlander staff at Columbia University on March 17.
Six of our students earned spots in the following All-State ensembles. Excellent work!
Please join me in congratulating the following orchestra students for placing into this year’s Virginia All-State Orchestra:
Steve Han (cello)
Minseon Kim (violin)
Maxence Mouries (violin)
Steve Han and Minseon Kim both placed fifth in the state. The All-State Orchestra will perform at a special concert in April at Colgan High School.
This weekend, the Scholastic Bowl team competed in the VHSL State Tournament at William & Mary. The team, consisting of Justin Young, Mara Kessler, Carson Flickinger, Grace Chung and backup Evan Stoddard, finished in second place behind Robinson. Justin was the second highest scoring individual in the entire tournament, which consisted of 24 teams and over 100 participants, earning him a spot on the All-State Tournament Team. Congratulations to the team and sponsor Jeff Brocketti!
Congratulations to all of our National Merit Scholarship Finalists!
Melanie Pincus has been named the Virginia Journalist of the Year by the Virginia Association of Journalism Teachers and Advisers. Melanie, who is in her second year as editor-in-chief of The Highlander newsmagazine, works with teacher and adviser Lindsay Benedict. Melanie will compete for the Journalism Education Association’s national award this spring.
Judges cited Melanie for her passion for reporting the news and for conducting outreach to middle school students to spread awareness of high school journalism and to provide information about media literacy. She was also praised for her writing style, use of sources, professionalism in reporting about timely topics, skill at editing and providing feedback to colleagues, and keeping lines of communication open with the administration. One judge stated, “Pincus’ portfolio looks like that of a college senior, with internships, awards, and hard news reporting that shows a hunger and knack for telling important stories. She takes stories that might appear mundane, such as teacher salaries, and explains them in a way that her readership will find compelling.”
It is a pleasure to work with Melanie, and this award is well-deserved!
Girls gymnastics won their second state championship in the past three years on Friday night at Patriot High School. Sam Simon finished second in the all-around category, first on the floor and third on the beam. Way to go, gymnasts!
Brendan Grammes won his second state title in as many years. This year he did it at the 152 lb. weight class. Brendan also set the all-time record for career wins, passing his brother Connor. Congratulations, Brendan!