The New Milford High School art and music departments have been busy with activities.

Festival participation

Nine students will participate April 3-5 in the Connecticut Music Educators Association All State Festival.

The students, selected through auditions, will perform with others of the best high school musicians from across the state.

There will be four ensembles at the festival: chorus, band, orchestra and jazz band.

This year, one student from each ensemble was selected.

The festival will conclude April 5 at 3 p.m. with a concert at the Bushnell Theater in Hartford.

Ensemble activity

The NMHS Ensemble has been selected as one of the honor ensembles to perform at this year's Connecticut Music Educators Association In-Service Conference.

The group will perform April 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza in Cromwell.

Band travels

The NMHS band will take a trip to Washington, D.C., April 10-13.

Highlights from the trip will include a performance in front of the Lincoln Memorial, attendance at a clinic at George Washington University, observation of the President's Own United States Marine Band rehearsal and attendance at a National Symphony Orchestra performance.

The jazz bands from Sarah Noble Intermediate School, Schaghticoke Middle School and New Milford High School will combine April 24 for the second annual New Milford Jazz Fest.

The day will include combined rehearsals and master classes and end with a performance at the high school.

The NMHS jazz band will participate April 25 in the 18th annual West Conn Jazz Festival.

State awards

The Connecticut Association of Schools will honor students April 1 from around the state who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of visual and performing arts and academics.

This year the CAS award in visual art will be presented to Samantha Shaw, while the CAS award to a student in performing arts will be given to Jaclyn Mercer.

Samantha has been enrolled in art classes since her freshman year and has assembled a body of work in design, portfolio, Cut, Paste & Copy (graphic design) and AP studio art.

She has also won acclaim with her first-place winning entries during her sophomore and junior years in the 2012 and 2013 Housatonic Valley Resource Renewal Annual Poster Contests.

She is preparing a portfolio for Advanced Placement credit in 2D design.

Samantha will attend Champlain College in Burlington, Vt., with a focus in animation and game design.

Jaclyn has been active in the NMHS music department, where she has been a mallet instrumentalist for the marching band and wind ensemble and a member of the advanced chorus for three years, as well as a member of the regional and all-state choruses on numerous occasions.

She studies voice privately and studies dance at FineLine Studio in New Milford.

Jaclyn has been in the all-school musical for four years and played leading roles in "42nd Street," "Carousel" and "Cats."

She is dance captain for this year's production of "Cats."

She plans to study musical theater in college and has been accepted to several schools.

Team teapots

Art teachers Paula Marian and Annette Marcus recently participated in a team teapot workshop with the Connecticut Clay Artists, a Fairfield County professional pottery collective.

Team teapots is a concept for which Marian was awarded a Celebration of Excellence award from the Connecticut State Department of Education.

Teapot components are created by many artists, and collaboratively assembled into unique one-of-a-kind teapots.

Team teapots have been created by Ceramics 2 students at NMHS and are sold at the NMHS art sale in December.

Rotary Student of the Month

The Rotary Club of New Milford recently named senior Harley Coutts Student of the Month in the art department.

Harley has been enrolled in art classes since her freshman year and has assembled a body of work in design, sculpture, ceramics, portfolio and, most notably, photography.

An April 29 luncheon will honor Harley, who will pursue a degree in nursing.

Teacher participation

Art teacher Annette Marcus was recently invited to participate in an opening and related events of a collection of works in American handicrafts at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.

"Beyond Craft: Decorative Arts from the Leatrice S. and Melvin B. Eagle Collection" includes 160 works in ceramics, glass, metal, furniture and jewelry, from the mid-1950s to the '90s.

Many of the works were created by artists who are considered the forefathers of contemporary American ceramics.

Marcus has shared her experience with her ceramics classes.

Life drawing

Teacher Kristi Soucie and junior Zoe Kaufman recently attended a life drawing open studio at the Washington Art Association in Washington.

The open studio is available Tuesdays from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at a cost of $12, which pays for the model.

Art schools say drawings of the human body from life are a crucial part of portfolios for admissions.

Emerging artist

Zoe Kaufman has been honored as emerging artist for the month of April.

Her drawings will be on display in the art department showcase.

Emerging artists are select juniors who have a serious commitment and work ethic to art and the art department, and are working for a place in the Senior Art Show.

Cut, Paste & Copy

Cut, Paste & Copy students recently finished layout, design and production of bookmarks for three New Milford schools, aswell as the T-shirt and poster design for the annual English department Poetry Slam.

The students visited KatArt Design to see professionals on the department's advisory board working in a retail setting.

Two members of the advisory board, Victor Veloz (Class of 2013) and Chris Rigdon (Class of 1991), visited CPC students in-house.