Sept. 13-14 - Audition: MTA’s Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS

2014-09-13 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Kids ages 6-9 can audition for this adaptation of the first of Mary Pope Osborne’s award-winning Magic Tree House book series. General vocal auditions are at 11 a.m. Saturday; dance call is at 10 a.m. Sunday. All who audition are cast. Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42323 N. Vision Way, 602-743-9892, More

Into the Fire Pit!

2014-09-07 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Mike Harvey
Writer Tom Scanlon   On a hot summer day, a batch of boys and girls were splashing around in the Anthem Community Center pool.   Sound fun? Well, they weren’t doing cannonballs or playing “Marco Polo,” they were swimming laps, back and forth, back and forth for two solid hours every day of the summer.   By the time early morning treadmillers, weight lifters, cross trainers and stationary bikers at the community center were getting a sweat started, these swimmers from the Anthem Dolphins club were halfway done with their workouts. Summer vacation? What summer vacation? The Dolphins spent their school break in the water, five days a week at 6:00 a.m.   But that’s not the toughest thing about being an Anthem swimmer, as these talented, dedicated kids will tell you. When school started, most of the Dolphins began swimming for the Boulder Creek High School team, and most planned to attend even earlier “optional” workouts before school, which begin at 5:30 a.m.   Being in... More

BFTFL: Best Friends to The Finish Line

2014-09-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Writer: Tom Scanlon   Victoria Toris and Samantha Fazio are nearly inseparable. They’ve been classmates since middle school, they hang out and go to movies together and, most memorably, they are swim-mates on the Scottsdale Aquatic Club and Pinnacle High School swim teams.   This November, when the finalists in the 50-yard freestyle sprint line up, Toris and Fazio will say a final “good luck” to each other … and then try to win.   Their motto could be: it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, especially if your best friend wins. Last fall, in the preliminary heat held in the morning, Fazio edged Toris to win. For Fazio to do that in the finals later that day would have been quite an upset, as Toris was the defending champion in the event.   “After Sam beat me in the morning, I just kind of put on my racing suit, put my mindset where it needed to be,” Toris said. For the final, “I was definitely focused. Definitely where I wanted to be.” She cranked it up and blazed... More

Cactus Shadows Football

2014-08-25 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Writer Tom Scanlon Photographer Mike Harvey of Peak Image Photo Joe Kuhlman was going to be “The Man” for Cactus Shadows last season, and his senior year got off to a terrific start as the 5-foot-10, 200-pound running back raced for an impressive 563 yards in the first three games of the season, averaging an eye-popping 7.71 yards per carry.   And then down he went, blowing out his knee, a crushing end to his high school career. It seemed like the Falcons’ season would be lost as well, as then-coach Greg Davis had to ask young, unproven, little – barely 150 pounds! – Antonio Marchica to be the starting running back.   He may be easy on the scales, but Marchica is not light on confidence.   “I had to step up from there,” he said. “I was prepared.”   Indeed, though he was a sophomore and had played scant time as a wide receiver the year before, Marchica carried the ball 22 times for 103 yards in his first varsity start. His second career start was even better, as he... More

Growth spurt puts BC Lineman on the Map

2014-08-10 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Writer Tom Scanlon Photographer Mike Harvey of Peak Image Photo   Nathan Elridge is a beast.   He was big and strong last year, when as a junior he started getting small college recruiters sniffing around Anthem. But he missed the last portion of the football season due to a broken elbow, which combined with a less-than-spectacular year for the Boulder Creek High football team had him off the radar of most of the big schools. And, though he was huge by the standards of most, at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, that made him undersized in the world of major college football.   Once his elbow healed, Elridge started hulking out, powering away long hours in the weight room. Meanwhile, his gene pool kicked into high gear. “My dad’s only about 6-2,” Eldridge said with a chuckle. “But his dad was really big, 6-5, with about a size 56 jacket.”   Eldridge had a little growth spurt and is now 6-foot-5, 275 pounds, plenty big to play line even at some of the biggest schools. He’s not just... More

Christ the Lord Lutheran Church Offers Music Enrichment Program

2014-06-12 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Christ the Lord Lutheran Church is partnering with Paradise Valley Community College and Grand Canyon University to present music enrichment courses held at the church, 9205 E. Cave Creek Rd., in Carefree. The following classes will be offered June 2 through June 28 for adults and students in grades 7-12:   How to Find Your Inner Diva: Weekly, two-hour sessions, $150 Find confidence in your singing performance and learn basic techniques to conquer performance anxiety. Students will practice performing in front of others. Vocalists of all levels welcome. Class sizes are limited. Grades: 7-12: Mon., 4-5:50 p.m. Adults: Thurs., 4-5:50 p.m.   Yoga and Fitness for Singers: Twice weekly, one-hour sessions, $150 Your body is your instrument. Practice gentle movement and stretching to learn how to move it. Students will practice moving while singing. Grades: 7-12: Mon./Thurs. 3-3:50 p.m. Adults: Mon./Thurs. 7:45-8:35 p.m.   Singing Audition Preparation: (two) 2-hour workshops, $95 How to... More

Pinnacle High School Baseball

2014-06-11 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Pinnacle High fans were hyped and rowdy as the baseball team got off to an early 1-0 lead in a home playoff game against Valley Vista High. But then the visiting team delivered a series of gut punches, stinging line drives that suddenly flipped the lead around and more. The home team was down 5-1, and it looked like a promising season could come to a sudden end.   But the Pioneers were not about to give up. They put together a few hits, scoring one run. Baserunners were on first and second with two out when Pinnacle shortstop Kobie Foppe stepped to the plate.   It was a clutch situation, and this was just the man Pinnacle coach John Casey wanted to have a bat in his hands. Last year, playing for Notre Dame Prep, Foppe went on a playoff tear, smashing eight hits, including four doubles, in the final three playoff games to lead Notre Dame to a state title in Division II.   For his senior year, with a scholarship to Arizona State University already in his back pocket, Foppe decided for... More

Anna Han Receives Musicfest Scholarship

2014-06-11 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Described by The Washington Post as “prodigiously gifted… a display of imagination, taste and pianistic firepower far beyond her years,” 18-year-old Anna Han of Chandler started taking piano lessons with her current teacher Mr. Fei Xu at New Century Conservatory at age 5. When she was 11, she became the national first place winner of the 2007 Music Teachers’ National Association Junior Piano Competition. Since then she has won a number of prestigious international piano competitions, including the first prize of the 2012 New York International Piano Competition, the first prize of the 2011 New Orleans International Piano Competition for Young Artists, and the first prizes of both the 2011 and 2008 International Institute for Young Musicians international piano competitions. She has also performed on several notable stages. This year, Ana was named the recipient of the Arizona Musicfest Scholarship, a $2,500 annual award given to a highly qualified young musician who excels at... More

The Other Top Team At Boulder Creek

2014-06-08 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Pogue Photography
With determination and focus, they have spent hours honing their skills. They’ve studied their competition’s strengths and weakness, and formed strategies to win. They’ve developed a strong sense of teamwork, and with long afternoons and evenings of practice, their natural abilities have been sharpened into championship material. Now, this winning Boulder Creek team of nine has shattered records and represented the Jaguars well.   They may not all look like typical athletes, but don’t be fooled: these students are competitors. Cameron Moreno, Sean Wurr, Elias Skoubis, Nick Goettl, Josh Kim, Grant Peterson, Chris Balzer, Nate Raffield and Christian Beem are members of the BC academic decathlon team, and they crunch math for breakfast.   These outstanding decathletes can rattle off facts and information about music, art, literature, economics, social science, mathematics and science that would impress any college professor; they can put together memorable speeches and essays in... More