The Whittier Miscellany

Gooderham and Rossi Take a Bow

Bella Stuccio

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The Wyeth Brothers Performing Arts Award, given annually by the Performing Arts department, is an award given to two seniors who are thought to have shown dedication, enthusiasm, leadership, artistry, and scholarship in the arts. This year’s recipients are Emily Rossi ’17, and Sarah Gooderham ’17! Both students have done amazing work in the arts and have contributed an immense amount of talent to the school community.

These two students have brought artistic life to the school community, and have also devoted themselves to the learning experience of their peers throughout the Friends community. The recipients have consistently strived to perform to the best of their ability, and demonstrate an interest in building their quality and skill.

Emily Rossi has had a huge influence in the performing arts program, especially through her performances in the school’s musicals and plays. She starred as Fred in “Once Upon A Mattress” when she was a sophomore, and played a major role as Cinderella in the past year’s musical, “Into the Woods,” as a senior. Emily is also a member of the Chamber Singers, has directed two different student-run productions, and is in the IB HL music program.

“[Emily’s] been involved in the arts all the way through her time at Friends. She’s been in all of the musicals and has had significant parts in all of them. I wrote her college recommendation letter and what I said was that she had been the lead in the previous year and had had a smaller role the next. Her commitment to the ensemble and the success of the show was the same, no matter the size of the role, ” recounts Margaret Anne Butterfield, Head of the Upper School Performing Arts Department.

Gooderham, who has also been involved in the musicals and Chamber Singers, has also impacted the perfoming arts community at Friends through her positivity and skill. In the past year, Gooderham participated in the Upper School musical, “Into the Woods,” in the lead role of the Baker’s Wife, as well as acting in the student run production this past winter.

“Sarah comes to every artistic endeavor with a strong sense of purpose. She’s committed to whatever it is, be it the musical, Chamber Singers, or even her year in chorale, and comes to it with the most positive attitude. To say that she is a leader is an incredible understatement. She learns so quickly, she’s innately talented, she has perfect pitch, she has a great musical sense. I have to admit there have been times at auditions when she has brought a ‘wow’ factor. Beyond that, after ‘Into the Woods’ the stage needed to be painted black. Sarah showed up. She takes every aspect of the show and gives equal weight and care to it. She was that way in Chamber Singers too. She’s not bossy about it , she’s very encouraging and inspiring. There’s an incredible sense of positivity that radiates from her,” Butterfield narrates.

Both Gooderham and Rossi have worked extremely hard and are well deserving of the Wyeth Brothers Performing Arts Award. They have brought even more life to the performing arts community during their time here at Friends. Butterfield shares, “I know that [Emily’s] going to University of Mary Washington and has been accepted into their theatre programs. If it’s not her vocation, it will most certainly be a significant part of her future! I’m sure that wherever Sarah goes, she’ll find ‘her people.’ I know that music and theatre will not be her vocation, but I know that she will not walk away from these things.”

The Friends community cannot wait for what these students will do next during and after college. As actors on the Friends School stage say before a performance, “once more unto the breach dear Friends, once more!”

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Gooderham and Rossi Take a Bow