How HB students foster the arts


Adam McQuilkin

Students at HB excel in the arts in many ways, from composing original pieces to using senior quest to create zines. “It’s amazing to see how everyone is willing to work with me and help me grow” said Frank Pugh ‘18, “I try to be like those awesome people who came before me.”

Adam McQuilkin, Staff Writer

While it is the responsibility of any graduating HB student to complete only a half credit of arts classes, some students at HB go above and beyond in their pursuit of their creative passions.

Amy Norton ‘19 is one of these students who excels in the arts, specifically in performance and musical composition. She was introduced to composition in her eighth grade year, and she began composing one year later. “I do a little bit of everything,” said Norton. “I really like baroque stuff I figured out… I do jazz too.” Norton has written two major pieces to date, and placed first NHMEA Composition Contest with her jazz piece “Nebula.” Her other major piece, “Winsor,” was modeled from the style of Bach. The piece was performed at the HB winter concert by members of the concert band. “I think the hardest part of writing a piece is naming it for me” she said, “it took me six months just to come up with the name.”

While Norton excels in instrumental composition, Frank Pugh ‘18 stands out in HB’s choir and theater community. Pugh is the president of both the Tri-M Musical Honor Society and the International Thespian Society (ITS) at HBHS, as well as a self-declared “renaissance man of sorts.” Pugh is also an active member of “Fermatta Nowhere”, HB’s A Capella club that meets every Friday during PLC in which members come in and practice songs that they eventually perform alongside the other choirs of HB. Pugh is also a longtime performer in the theater department, starring in productions such as “Annie Junior”, “Doctor Dolittle,” “Into the Woods,” “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” and most recently “The Game’s Afoot.” Pugh expressed his gratitude towards Mr. Barbossa and Mr. Parker for their enduring support of the theater and choir department.

Another choir student and costar of Pugh in “All Shook Up,” Jacqueline Hale ‘18, is expressing her passion for photography through the HB photography club, a club that she helped found and continues to lead. As she described it, “our idea behind it [photo club] was to get a group of people together who have a passion for photography and who have been doing it or have an interest to come together and share our photos and learn from each other.” Hale petitioned student council for permission to start the club alongside Megan Cramton ‘18, and in the year since its inception, it has grown from three members to upwards of 15. When asked about how she got into photography, Hale cited the photography class here at the high school, saying “that’s where I started to really fall in love with photography and see where its history was and how far it’s [sic] come. It really gave me an appreciation for photographers back then and all they had to do to get the shot.”

Instead of starting a club, Liam Grant ‘18 dedicated his senior quest project to his passion for film cameras and image development. For a senior quest project, students who take the class choose a topic that they want to learn more about and work on a yearlong project to achieve this goal. For Grant, this came in the form of a ‘zine,’ a “noncommercial publication usually devoted to specialized and unconventional subject matter.” “The main project, the idea that I came in thinking I would do, was a 50-100 page book based on my film photography with biking and skateboarding that I’ve done throughout the years, kind of a dedication and honor to all of the great people I’ve met” said Grant, “but it’s kinda turned into a bit more than just that, because, you know, Heaton’s good.” Instead of merely creating a zine, Christine Heaton, the head librarian at HB, was able to set up a personal exhibition at the Hollis Social library to promote the zine and give Grant a method to display his past works. “I mentioned that when we first met that, ‘what if I had my own exhibition, but that’s not gonna happen’” said Grant. The ensuing exhibition that displayed Grant’s work was supplemented by works from the HB photo club and photo class.

These four students are representative of the many who make the HB art community what it is. These students don’t do what they do because they have to, they do it because they have a passion for it.

Infographic detailing arts-based activities at HB, such as clubs and ensembles.