Monday, November 4, 2019

OPINION: Election Day Off for Everyone!

By Sydney Daly and Adrianna Wagner

In today’s volatile climate, safety within schools is of utmost priority. The thought of an outsider entering the secure community of a public school is unsettling at the very least. This caused the Nazareth Area School District, as well as some other districts to close on Election Day, granting students a day off.

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When asked about the decision, NASD Superintendent Dr. Dennis L. Riker stated, "In the past we have only had voting at Butz Elementary School.  This year, voting will also take place at the Middle School. For the safety of our staff and students, I have recommended we close the District for the day."

However, the choice to close districts on Election Day is left entirely to school officials. Hundreds of thousands of students and working-class citizens are required to attend work and school on Election Day. This can prevent them from fulfilling their civic duty because they may not have time to get to the polls. Election Day should be recognized as a National Holiday. Declaring Election Day a holiday could give the citizens preoccupied with daily life the opportunity to vote, as well as ensure the safety of students all across America.

Friday, November 1, 2019

The Sound of New Choral Music

By Graeme Olson

The Nazareth High School chorus program has two new groups starting this year, and it is an exciting time of change for those involved.  

There’s now an auditioned all men’s choir, Men of Nazareth, which rehearses every Tuesday and Thursday after school.  It has 13 male vocalists in its first year of existence.  Choral director Mrs. Kelly Rocchi said her inspiration for starting an all men’s choir was that female members also got attention in Nightingales, while male singers didn’t have the same opportunity.  So, she believes having this all male choir will help male and female singers be “on a level playing field.”

However, Men of Nazareth isn’t the only new group starting in the Nazareth choral program this year.  Cantus, an elite choral group with 16 singers, is an auditioned group that rehearses every F Day during Eagle Block.  It is essentially the replacement for Chorale, the former auditioned co-ed group that rehearsed after school.  Chorale had about 30 members, so Cantus is more exclusive, about half that. 

Cantus perform at Lehigh University. Photo Credit: Kelly Rocchi

Cantus is a particularly elite group, as there are only 4 people for each voice part (soprano, alto, tenor, bass).  And because Cantus typically only meets on F days during Eagle Block, the students must come to each rehearsal having practiced their music.  How is the new group working so far?  In the words of Mrs. Rocchi, “so far so good.”  She says because the singers in Cantus have proper vocal technique, that helps them despite their limited amount of rehearsal time.  

Liam Condon, a member of Cantus, described Cantus as a “very hard working group of people who truly love what they’re doing.” He emphasized the amount of dedication and involvement it takes to be a member of this group.  Since there’s little rehearsal time, everyone has to be more dedicated to practicing.  Cantus has already done two gigs, one of which was called “Night Lights,” which helped raise money for cancer research.  They also sang at the “Joyful Noise” event in Bethlehem, which was a celebration for the city recovering after Bethlehem Steel closed.  Overall, Liam told me that he thinks Cantus will reach its full potential as the year goes on.  

It should be noted that the other new group, Men of Nazareth, is a very new experience for Mrs. Rocchi and the male singers in the group.  Mrs. Rocchi bought an exercise book called “The Resonant Male Singer” that helps male singers with vocal technique.  She says that teaching male singers is very different from teaching the Nightingales, as male singers have different anatomies and deeper voices. Rocchi has focused on helping the group become more resonant singers, with a forward and clear sound.  Their first big event was Saturday, October 12th, where they participated in the “Men of Song” festival at Penn State with high schools all around the area, with well over 200 singers, including the Penn State glee club.

Men of Nazareth enjoying pie. Photo Credit: Kelly Rocchi

 Now, where did the names “Cantus” and “Men of Nazareth” come from anyway?  Rocchi says that “Cantus” is the Latin word for “sing.”  Since a lot of choral music is in Latin, that definitely makes sense.  

Rocchi considered a few possible names for the all-male group, though, and thought about calling them the “Knights,” as the name sounds similar to the Nightingales.  She made clear that many guy group names are pun-oriented, like Crescedudes, so she decided to go with the more powerful and professional-sounding Men of Nazareth. 

Altogether, there are now 6 different vocal groups at Nazareth.  When asked if managing all of them was stressful, Mrs. Rocchi replied quite simply at first: “Yes!”  However, Rocchi believes it is rewarding, and that her experience of teaching for 15 years has helped her out. 

When there are so many different singing groups, organization is key.  Rocchi emphasized that in smaller groups there’s a heightened sense of responsibility for each member; if someone is screwing up, it’s more easily noticeable, so it makes everyone work a bit harder.  She saw that as a positive, but if a few members of a section are missing from rehearsal, that can be detrimental.  

As for the future of the choral program, Rocchi dreams that one day there could be 40 men in the Men of Nazareth group, just like the Nightingales.  However, she feels that Cantus should be kept at 16 members, as the competition means that hopefuls will work harder on their music in order to get in the group.  

It’s an exciting year of change for the Nazareth choral program.  Both of these groups will contribute well in our concerts and events around the community.

Share the Road

By Alora Kutzler and Ian White

Last month, Nazareth Area High School SADD Club held the Share the Road program provided by Walmart. This program taught students how to drive safely around large vehicles.

The truck drivers who ran the program explained the purpose of the program. One driver, Adam, is a professional driver with 21 years of experience and 3 million miles in his career. He explained, "Trucks are on every road, and it's good for all people, especially younger drivers to learn about how to be safe around large trucks."

Nazareth students climbed into the cab and got to look from the truck driver's point of view which gave them insight on blind spots and safe distances from other vehicles. But students also learned that truck drivers do more than just drive. The drivers explained what they see on the highway and how they are trained to react. Students also learned how truck drivers are part of Pennsylvania’s spotted lanternfly campaign; they’re required to inspect their trucks for and of the invasive insects who may be hitching a ride. Addtionally, the Truck drivers also explained how they regularly keep a vigilant eye out for the signs of human trafficking.

Students found the program to be a valuable one. Junior Isaiah Eddings gave his take-home of the event.  He stated, ‘’I found this event very insightful because I learned how to drive around trucks safely. Today I learned many things such as the right side of a truck is the biggest blind spot for the driver.’’  He suggested we “do this for juniors and seniors every year because it helps […] drivers, drive safely around trucks and avoid accidents.’’ 

SADD Club leader Mrs. Frace was pleased with the Walmart truck drivers and the event: “We are surrounded by warehouses nowadays and we cannot avoid trucks on the road, so this event is very helpful and gives a lot of knowledge to not only new drivers but to the experienced driver as well.”

She is already planning next year's event, explaining, “I believe next year we are going to make it mandatory so every gym class brings their juniors down, then we will get everyone involved.”

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Nazareth HAUNTing

by Sydney Daly and Adrianna Wagner

It’s that time of year again! Horror films are cast into theaters, Halloween candy hits the shelves, and people begin to anticipate spine-tingling amusement. Fortunately, for those in the Halloween spirit, there is a community event hosted by the Nazareth Football Boosters taking place at Tuskes Park on October 19th from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM. The Haunt has become a yearly event. The event coordinator, Mr. Rod Wilson, said “It’s been very good in the past. Last year, we drew 400 kids--so it’s popular.” Cost is $5 for one lap around the track and $10 for unlimited laps, where visitors can enjoy frightening attractions put on by an assortment of Nazareth’s sports teams and high school theatre classes. Attractions will include a Voodoo Swamp constructed by the softball team, an Undead Hall of Famer theme by the baseball team, a petrifying scene drawing inspiration from classic slasher films performed by our theatre troupe, and an eerie circus assembled by the cheer team. Throughout the night, patrons can vote for their favorite attraction giving each group the opportunity to win a prize. Mr. Wilson also has high hopes for the future of the activity: “This is turning into a community event. That is directly where we want it to go. We’re hoping to get this somewhere on the school grounds next year and add in many of the other booster clubs because this could easily become a Nazareth tradition. It’s a lot of fun, and it brings the community together.”

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

How NAHS Freshmen are adapting to High School Life

By: Caitlin van Rensburg and Sarah Whitmire

As the first half of the semester passes, the News from the Nest staff wondered about our freshman class’ impressions of Nazareth Area High School so far. We talked to four freshman homerooms about their transition to the high school and how their first quarter went.
When asked about their favorite part of moving to the high school, a majority of the surveyed freshmen answered that the high school provides more freedom than the middle school. The freedom to pick their classes, to see their friends more often, and to use the resources the school provides has become very appealing to many members of the freshman class.
The transition from middle school to high school is difficult for many incoming freshman. As a result, we asked about the most difficult part of their assimilation into high school culture. The most popular answer was the academic differences between the schools. Many students felt that their workload increased heavily as well as the way their homework and tests are graded. However, many students also added that after their first quarter, they have begun to get used to it.
There are many differences between the middle school and the high school. Our final question to the surveyed freshman was which school they preferred: the middle school or the high school. Twenty-four students reported that they like the high school better and seven reported that they preferred the middle school.

Perfecting the Path to Charlotte's Web

By: Morgan Bayda

The time for the Nazareth Area High School theatre troupe’s fall play has come and gone, and this year the play was Charlotte’s Web. I interviewed senior Makenna Mohn, who plays Charlotte, to get a behind-the-scenes look at all the time and hard work put into the plays to make them so spectacular.   

Makenna told me that in order to perfect the production, the crew and cast met for two days per week from five o’clock to nine. At the practices, the cast worked on blocking and getting to know their characters while stage crew worked on the lighting and making sure everyone’s microphones worked. She also told me that the cast would occasionally help the stage crew make props and build the set. 

When asked if she was excited to be portraying Charlotte, she responded, “Yes! Growing up, Charlotte’s Web was my favorite movie, and Charlotte was my favorite. I am excited and blessed to be portraying Charlotte because I feel like she has a story that needs to be heard. I am very thankful to have a wonderful director who helped me become a better actor.” 

Along with that, I asked if she personally believed the show would be a success to the public and she replied, “Yes, at least I hope so. I feel like a lot of people know the story, so hopefully it will be a hit.”

Makenna’s favorite part of the play was “A scene where I have to test to see if Wilbur’s radiant, so I make Wilbur run back and forth across the stage.” She said that she thought it was entertaining, and she hopes the audience enjoys that part too. On the other hand, her least favorite/most stressful part of producing the play, and she answered, “The microphones. Sometimes they don’t work, so you just have to project and hope the audience can hear me.”

Finally, I asked her if she had any advice to give to her fellow classmates or anyone who is thinking about trying out for a school production, and she replied, “Go for it. It’s an amazing experience, and it is a great way to make new friends. I have made so many friends through theatre, and it teaches you that patience is key.” 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

What is Nazareth's Favorite Thanksgiving Traditions?

Image result for thanksgivingWhat do NAHS students love to do on Thanksgiving?

Interviewed By: Norah Stivala 

We asked several Nazareth Students what their favorite Thanksgiving traditions are and here are some answers!

Kelly Lesinski- "My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is eating food with my family!"

Gianna Marchese- "My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is watching the Thanksgiving Day parade and running the YMCA Pumpkin Pie 5K."

Kate Joseph- "My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is going to Michigan"

Emma Kilareski- "My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade"

Grace Rasmussen- "My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is eating food. My favorite food is mashed potatoes"

Jillian Rissmiller- "My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is when I get together with all of my family. Every Thanksgiving my grandparents do a breakfast, and then my other grandparents always do a turkey!"

Morgan Masel-  “My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is having my whole family over to my house. After dinner, we get together in the family room, break out the guitars, and have a family sing along.”

Cameron Roseto -“My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is watching Thanksgiving football with my extended family from Roseto.”

Kiera Karve- “My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is cooking with my family.”

Joe Gromlowiez- “My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is eating cranberry sauce and candied yams.”

Natalie Meriwether- “My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is eating mashed potatoes and playing scrabble.”