On a recent Tuesday evening Salem’s Mill Mountain Coffee set a very cool scene.
It was just like being Somewhere: Say, Harvard Square or New York. All thanks to Salem High School’s magazine, holding its first-ever “Delphi Night.”
“We’d been talking for years about having an event like this one,” said SHS teacher / Delphi adviser Fred Campbell. “But we’re usually too tired by the time the magazine comes out.”
This year MMC manager Molly Kaufman asked him to stage some sort of event, so he thought of premiering the 2012 issue there.
Readings, music: It all came together before a huge, happy crowd. Packed in, like Mill Mountain’s famed Dec. 24th fests — at which Fred sings — but without the French toast.
Fred emceed, and played a recording of Paris Eve Reinhard’s harp composition: “It’s such a nice, unique addition to the magazine,” he wrote via email. “Other musicians [performing that night] were Justin Knight, Jordan Shell, Sam Valentine, Kyle Studtmann and Spencer Pugh. Readers were Jenny Hellier, Cody Cooper, Molly Deegan, Andrea Miller, Emily Shelton, Allison Raines, Lauren Hedge [and] Phoebe Traylor.”
Folks have marveled that “Delphi” is a student publication. Rich artwork, a wide variety of music, poems, prose, even architectural drawings: All original compositions. All artfully stuffed into sixty heavy-weight-paper pages — plus a CD. (Usually it’s a 48-page magazine.)
But wait; there’s more! Editor Maggie Rotanz and Fred had attended last fall’s Virginia High School League publications workshop, where they learned about QR codes (those half-inch, squiggly square-things). So they decided to use them next to the title of each piece; smartphone users with a reader-app can access YouTube videos of interviews with student writers and artists. “It’s pretty innovative, but mostly it’s just cool,” said Fred.
Each year begins with choosing a theme; then the staff develops design concepts. This year’s is “gravity drifter” – and Fred even sports the logoed T-shirt.
LONG hours are spent creating layouts in the SHS graphic arts computer lab. Valley Printers produced “the final magical touch,” Fred wrote.
Plus fundraising! New patrons rallied to make a “GREAT” year, he said. “More patrons are always welcome,” he added.
Worrying about money comes-with-the-territory. This is Fred’s twelfth year of such fretting, overseeing the staff and directing the various editors. “I yell at people a lot. I’m like the newspaper guy in ‘Spiderman’….
“Maggie was fairly new to the process, so she had lots of great ideas. My question to her every time was ‘How are we going to pay for this?’… She didn’t have any preconceived notions about what she couldn’t do.”
Fred called the 2012 edition “the most ambitious and, therefore, the best issue we’ve ever published. Many people contributed to [its] creation…but most of it originated with Maggie’s vision….
“I was surprised when she asked to be editor because I don’t think she had ever spoken a complete sentence to me before that time. She blossomed into a fine leader and a great editor. I’m very proud of her and grateful to her.”
The SHS 2012 Delphi is on sale for $7. Contact Fred Campbell via the SHS web site.