Vancouver Talmud Torah offers drama from Kindergarten to Grade 7. Drama has often been called “a slice of life,” and that’s exactly what occurs as these classes give students the chance to prepare for “life.”
Through drama, they learn to achieve the confidence to face any kind of audience in any kind of situation. Through drama, they become involved in topics, issues, situations, conversations, family life crises, joys, sorrows, and special events that transport them to both real and imagined worlds. Through drama, they learn to work together as a team through numerous games of concentration, cooperation and imagination. As their drama experiences increase, they learn acting techniques such as line memorization, voice projection, pace/tempo, scene blocking, characterization, plausibility and audience response.
VTT is also proud to present an annual (and original) school-wide, grand-scale Hanukkah concert that involves the entire student body from Kindergarten to Grade 7. Each grade has approximately 50 children and the songs are performed by grade, with the theme changing every year. We’ve produced “Macca Bia” – featuring the music of ABBA – re-telling the Hanukkah story through ABBA’s music; “Macca Beatles” and “Hanukkah Goes Broadway!” — a fun and lively show featuring songs from A Chorus Line, Phantom of the Opera, Grease, Annie, Fiddler on the Roof, Lion King, Les Miserables, and 42nd Street. The words to each of the songs are changed to tell the Hanukkah story. We performed “MaccaGlee” in 2011. In 2012, “Macca-Beat It” featured hits by Michael Jackson with a finale dance performance by 21 of our parents. Most recently, our students staged “Maccabeedoodah” to the music of popular Disney tunes. The opening featured a surprise flash mob (with VTT alumni) singing a medley of Disney hits. This year, we will reprise our first-ever concert extravaganza with a title change: MaccaABBA.
Our spring musicals, featuring students in Grades 5-7, have showcased “The Bar Mitzvah Boy,” “Esther: A Vaudeville Megillah,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Bye, Bye, Birdie,” and Fiddler on the Roof.” We staged “Cinderella” in March 2012, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” in March 2013 and most recently produced a spirited version of Annie in 2014. In the spring of 2015 we staged The Little Mermaid with a cast of over 50 students–and sold out for all three evening shows! Coming up in 2016: Seussical The Musical. Click this link to see all the musicals we have staged over the last decade.
The Music program at Talmud Torah is geared towards creating an understanding and appreciation of music of all genres, but most specifically classical music. The program is taught using a play-based model entitled Musicplay, which was created for all different age groups. It includes singing games, rhythm stick play-alongs, music listening guides, music composition, flashcards and much more. The goal is to ensure students receive a well-rounded music education. The program is augmented by the yearly Hanukkah concert, in which all students participate. In 2014, VTT purchased a new set of Orff instruments to further enhance musical instruction. For 2015, music will further be strengthened with the introduction of ukulele instruction.
The VTT Band program gives students in grades 4, 5, 6 and 7 the chance to learn a brass (trumpet, trombone, etc.), woodwind (flute, clarinet, sax), or percussion (snare, bells, cymbals, etc.) instrument.
New for 2016-17:
New Band students spend the year learning the basics of their instruments.
Band II – Senior Band
Continuing Band students go beyond the basics and begin to explore challenging, fun repertoire.
Band III – Advanced Band
For students who display exceptional leadership, dedication, and consistent practice, we offer placement at this new advanced level. We will play extremely challenging repertoire and develop advanced skills.
Continuing Band students will all be asked to play a short placement assessment in mid-late September 2016. This assessment will determine placement in either the Senior or Advanced Band. Material for the placement assessment is posted on the VTT Band Website. Students are encouraged to practice this material over the summer in order to be well-prepared.***Percussionists may choose to be assessed on Percussion, Mallets, or both.
To accommodate the new three-level Band system, we are offering the following rehearsal schedule. All students will attend two rehearsals per week:
7:30am – Senior Band
7:30am – Junior Band
7:30am – Advanced Band
7:30am – Combined Band
Combined Band rehearsals will include all three levels, with a focus on peer mentoring, fundamentals, and sectional work.
All three bands receive performing opportunities at the school and within the community. We play a wide range of musical styles, from jazz to rock to classical. The goal is to give a balance between a musical education and a positive, interactive experience. The students learn musical ideas as well as how to work together towards a common goal of which they can be proud. This rewarding activity boosts self-esteem and will hopefully kindle a lifelong relationship with music. Practices occur before school twice a week.
Click this link to access the Band website.
Jim Hopson is our Band Specialist.
Israeli dance has taken on new meaning and dimension for many of our students. For the past ten years, we have been introducing and imbuing our students with a love of Israeli dance as part of a JCC initiative, driven with passion by Debbie Tabenkin.
At present, we have five different groups running on different days of the week and taught by a number of dedicated instructors who themselves have a profound love of Israeli dance. They hope to impart this love to a new generation of dancers. Their enthusiasm and spirit are contagious!
In the spring, every dancer has the opportunity to share their repertoire of traditional and modern dances in the annual Vancouver Israeli Dance Festival, also known as “Festival Ha’Rikud” held at the JCC. Our students also perform at various school functions. Registration through the JCC is mandatory.