By Melissa Johnson
Walking into the GMHS auditorium on December 3 in the late afternoon you were bound to hear the murmur of excited students, the jazz ensemble playing a series of music selections from the Star Spangled Banner to Big Noise from Winnetka, but by far the most important was the nine contestants, being given rules and instructions when it was their turn to present their poems.
The winners for the 2013 school wide Poetry Out Loud contest this year, was freshman runner up Andrea Dilao and first place winner senior Lilly Constance. Constance will advance to regionals in May 2014, and if for some reason Constance is unable to compete, runner up Dilao will fill in Constance’s place.
When asked about her first place win, Constance said, “I was very flattered, I think all of the contestants were talented so it meant a lot that the judges thought I was capable to compete in regionals.”
Poetry Out Loud is the annual school wide contest where two students from grades 9-11 and three students from the senior class are chosen to compete against one another in efforts to make it to the regional round in the spring. The contestants and their poems goes as follows:
Andrea Dilao- “A History without Suffering” by E.A. Markham & “It Isn’t Me” by James Lasdun
Annie Parnell- “More Lies” by Karin Gottshall & “The Daring One” by Edwin Markham
Gwyneth Pasch- “Four Glimpses of Night” by Frank Marshall Davis & “Alone” by Edgar Allan Poe
Jozsef (Joseph) Gal- “Alone” by Edgar Allen Poe & “I, Too, Sing America” by Langston Hughes
Jarman Taylor- “Richard Cory” by E.A. Robinson & “La Belle Dame Sans Merci: A Ballad” by John Keats
Noah Hayne- “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelly & “Cartoon Physics: Part 1” by Nick Flynn
Lilly Constance- “The Canoization” by John Donne & “Celebration for June 24” by Thomas McGrath
Elinore McLain- “Monet Refuses the Operation” by Lisel Mueller & “To Autumn” by John Keats
Megan Leach- “Abandoned Farmhouse” by Ted Kooser & “Love Song” by Dorthy Parker
As all students, teachers and judges settled into their seats, English teacher Bridget Dean-Pratt welcomed all participants and spectators giving them guidelines on how to appropriately spectate. Once the introduction was over, the contest started and the first recitation of poems started. Contestants were asked to memorize two poems, and were scored upon different categories like physical appearance, voice articulation, level of difficulty, and others.
“Understanding the meaning of the poem and what the author is trying to say are really important to perform a poem well,” said Dilao.
After the first round of recitation, contestants were given a little break, and eighth graders Isabella Ashton and Angela Dilao (two eighth graders picked from their grade) recited one poem each. After Ashton and Dilao’s recitations it was round two for contestants, and once again contestants were scored by judges.
After the second round it was time for the judges to tabulate. Judges went as followed: Ms. Nancy Goldman, Ms. Judy Bracken, Ms. Jill Beres, Mr. Brandon Moore- McKnew, and Mr. Erik Healy. During the tabulation process the GMHS Jazz Ensemble played “Georgia On My Mind” with vocal soloist Arijeet Sensharma. Winners were then announced following the performance of GMHS Jazz Ensemble.
After the winners were announced student spectators and teachers reported back to class, and Constance will get ready to go to regionals in May 2014.