Here it is, the day filled with eating food and seeing family is fast arriving, Turkey Day. It’s also the day of the big parade, and this year there will be Roanoke Valley locals in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
James Madison University’s marching band, the Marching Royal Dukes, is going to be playing through the streets of the city. The band includes six graduates from Lord Botetourt High School: Thomas Graham, Grayson Simmons, Josh Humphries, Kat Call, Erin Rizzo and Emilee Higgins. These Cavalier alumni will be marching in the parade on Thanksgiving Day and representing the Roanoke Valley in an event watched by thousands.
The band has an itinerary that is accessible at JMU’s band page, and the details include an open rehearsal at the Sheraton New York Times Square. The band departed yesterday, the Nov. 26, and will be rehearsing today for the event in the city.
Thanksgiving will be an early day for the band. The buses will pick up the marchers from their hotel at 1:30 a.m. and from then on it’s prep for show time. More information and details can be found at http://www.jmu.edu/mrd/macys.shtml. For your first look at the band, tune into NBC at 9 a.m. tomorrow and watch this Thanksgiving tradition.
There is a smell of pine as I sit outside of my favorite store drinking hot apple cider. I am waiting in anticipation for the clock to turn to midnight, and when it does, busting through the doors to get the best deals. This is what I love about Black Friday.
Many people say that Black Friday is too much commotion, but I think it is the next best thing to Christmas. After my family is finished stuffing our faces full of food during Thanksgiving dinner, we gear up to bear the crowd at the mall. I like to bring friends when we do this ultimate shopping, because it makes the experience more fun.
At first it is a bit frustrating trying to maneuver my way through the crowd, but when you actually get into the mall it is not that bad. I am so excited to hunt down deals this Black Friday.
Every Sunday, a group of talented young adults gather to celebrate their passion for playing music ang discovering its joys. These students are none other than the musicians of the Roanoke Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Founded in 1956, the RYSO offers a unique pre-professional experience for talented individuals ages 12 to 18. After auditioning, members of the orchestra rehearse weekly and perform in several concerts throughout the year. Additionally, an annual camp, the Summer Music Institute, intensively prepares all members of the RYSO for the upcoming musical season. Students play both classical and contemporary pieces, including movie scores.
Conductor James Glazebrook is in his 24th year of directing the orchestra. He’s also Associate Concertmaster of the professional Roanoke Symphony Orchestra
“The RYSO brings together students with a common interest around the region. It is an outlet for personal expression,” Glazebrook said. “Even those who don’t pursue music as a career still become musical board members and audience members.”
First year member Melissa Wu, sophomore at William Byrd High School, said she intends to return to the RYSO next season. “It’s challenging but fun,” the flute player stated. “It’s a mix of work and fun.”
In its ongoing 2013-2014 season, the RYSO had the unique opportunity to perform for the opening concert of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra’s 60th season on Oct. 7. The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra is directed by Maestro David Stewart Wiley, who has also guest-conducted for the RYSO in past concerts.
“Education has always been essential,” Wiley said, “and the RYSO represents the present and the future.”
Percussionist and Cave Spring High School Junior Samie Casauay said that the RYSO “does a good job of connecting with the community.” She added, “My favorite part about symphony is the different types of music we play.”
The RYSO is not simply an orchestra, but also an organization for the development of young musicians and artists. Each year the orchestra sponsors the Young Artist Awards, where members compete for a cash prize and a chance to solo with the RYSO. This year’s winner and concertmaster was Sage Wright, a homeschooled senior. Shedescribed the differences of playing in an ensemble and soloing.
“When playing in an ensemble,” the violinist said, “it’s important to listen and blend. When soloing, I can do more stylistic techniques.” Wright described the RYSO as “fun,” declaring her favorite aspect to be the selection of movie scores and classical music.
“The RYSO is very enjoyable,” Sarah Blevins, first chair oboe and Alleghany High School senior, said. “And it looks great on college applications.”
Not only does the RYSO provide participating members with the joy of music, it also reaches upwards of 2,000 grade-school students throughout the Roanoke region with its Discovery Concerts. Other outreach programs include the encouragement of young students to play and learn about the instruments that make up the Orchestra.
On Nov. 23, 1963, a little sci-fi show called “Doctor Who” was broadcasted in black and white on British Broadcasting Corporation for the first time.
Now, 50 years later that same show has become a beloved television series that is cherished by millions.
“Doctor Who” follows the adventures of a mysterious man called The Doctor. He is an alien who travels through time and space in his blue, 1960’s British police box-shaped TARDIS (that is, Time And Relative Dimension In Space). Along for the ride is a human companion, currently Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman), an “impossible girl,” and one the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith), just can’t figure out.
The Doctor has the rare ability to keep himself from dying by the process of “regeneration.” This process gives him a new body, which is why so many different actors have been able to play him in the past.
“I would absolutely recommend this show to everyone. It has helped my family connect through it, as well as my close circle of friends,” says Cody Prater, a junior at Hidden Valley High School. “It is a wonderful show, fit for all ages. It is, in my opinion, one of the best shows on television.”
This year, on Nov. 23, the show will have a 50th Anniversary special, featuring the 11th Doctor, the 10th Doctor (David Tennant), Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) as the 10th Doctor’s companion, and a previously unknown Doctor, played by John Hurt.
“I have to say I am most excited to see David Tennant return as the 10th Doctor. He is ‘my Doctor,’ the one I am most attached to and the one I hated to see go,” said Prater.
The “Doctor Who” fan base has grown from its British roots and is enjoyed by fans from over 75 different countries.
“I have only been watching ‘Doctor Who’ for a little under a year now, but it has already captured a special place in my life,” said Nishant Jha, a senior at North Cross High School. “While it is considered a ‘family show,’ the themes and topics discussed are really mature. It is because of how the show handles grief and hatred and love and friendship that I have such a fondness for it.”
When asked why he is excited for the 50th Anniversary, Jha answered, “I’m excited to marvel at, and be a part of, the celebration of 50 years of ‘Doctor Who.’ It’s going to be a great time to be a ‘Doctor Who’ fan!”
The 50th anniversary will be played Nov. 23 in certain movie theaters globally and on BBCAmerica. Learn more about “Doctor Who” and find out where you can watch the 50th anniversary at http://www.doctorwho.tv/.
The only thing written on everyone’s calendar for Nov. 21 should be the premiere of “Catching Fire.” If you’ve seen “The Hunger Games” then you probably share my excitement for the new movie.
“Catching Fire” is the sequel to “The Hunger Games,” based on the book series by Suzanne Collins.
I started the series for the third time to prepare for the 8 p.m. premiere on Nov. 21, and I’ve been counting down. I’ve only waited an entire year for this moment.
Even though I want it to be a six hour long, word for word movie, I know that’s not possible. The first film did a great job of following the book and I can only hope for the same with “Catching Fire.”
Now, if you’re like me then you probably get excited over anything relating to “The Hunger Games.” So, to help my excitement I’m going to see “The Starving Games.” It’s a parody of the movie that hit theaters on Nov. 8. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely against mocking anything about “The Hunger Games,” but it looks pretty hilarious
You should definitely be at the premiere; you wouldn’t want to miss something like this. If anyone is looking for me on Thursday night, I’ll be the one with the Mocking Jay pin and the tissues.
The scene doesn’t seem to fit the location, driving into the parking lot of Summerdean Church of the Brethren in Roanoke and then walking into the middle of a full-blown dance rehearsal.Entering the room, teenage girls are sprawled across the floor, stretching, as music blares from the speakers.
However, this is not an ordinary dance studio. This is Audience of One, a studio made to teach the art of dance with a Christian aspect.
Hannah Oakes, Rachel Beard and Ruth Beard are the three primary instructors for Audience of One. The Beard sisters helped found the program, which began in 2006 when they became more interested in ministry through dance. They had participated in other programs similar to Audience of One and wanted to try bringing it to their church.
“Audience of One has really helped me to see a new way of dance. I did dance in a studio that was more for show and more about having all the moves your costume just right,” Oakes said. “I loved that, but this has given me a new way of dancing and a new perspective on dance. It is a Christian dance ministry that focuses on worshipping Christ through dance and also focuses on modesty.”
The three young instructors strive to help their dancers grow and learn about Christ through dance. The studio helps improve dance skills but also does not place the dancers in an uncomfortable position for a performance. Several classes are held every Tuesday for various age groups.
“I used to baby-sit with Rachel and she mentioned it [Audience of One]. I got involved with it, really liked it, and thought my sister should join too so that’s what happened,” Emma Hughes, Virginia Western student, said.
Emma and Hannah Hughes both came to Audience of One with a dance background. Emma Hughes said that she had danced at a young age but the studio she had been a part of was too expensive, so she had to quit. When she heard about Audience of One, she decided to try it out and it soon became something she looked forward to every week.
“It’s really nice to be able to express myself through dance without compromising my modesty or my standards,” she said.
The staff of Audience of One wants to encourage youth to learn to dance and appreciate it. The three instructors realize that dancers are often turned away because of studio expenses, so they decided Audience of One should remain a non-profit dance studio. This means that the instructors are not paid, they simply volunteer their time for the love of dance. The only investment expected from the dancers is money for T-shirts and part of the cost for the venue.
“Emma came back home one day and told me about Audience of One. I’ve always been interested in dance and when she mentioned that it was basically free, I thought it would be a great idea to try it out,” Hannah Hughes said. “It’s more of a relaxed group, it isn’t so much about the performance, but instead is more about worshipping Jesus and spreading the word. I love it.”
Not only do the instructors teach dance to participants, they also have weekly a Bible study to help de-stress the dancers and form a community with their fellow performers. These sessions teach them to be confident in themselves and their appearance. The theme of the year for the studio is overcoming obstacles, whether they are internal or external.
“I started thinking about my appearance in ways that weren’t physical, I guess, and that was very helpful,” Hannah Hughes said.
The three instructors all agreed that the best part of remaining a part of the studio is teaching and interacting with youth who have a love for Christ and a want to show others.
“It gives me joy to watch the young dancers grow and love to worship Christ through dance. It’s so exciting to see young children with hearts for Christ and hearts that really want to glorify him and only him,” Oakes said.
Currently, Audience of One is preparing for its upcoming free performance that will be Dec. 7 at Lakeside Baptist Church. The show will begin at 7 p.m.
Learning about cultures from around-the-world is important, and one’s own culture plays a vital role in portraying one’s personality, habits, and morals. Deena Habazi, a senior at Cave Spring High School, is a perfect role model for the current generation to spread their own culture.
On a Sunday morning most teenagers would be either sleeping or watching TV, meanwhile Habazi spends her Sunday mornings from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. teaching children the Arabic language, about the Quran (Islam’s holy book) and Islamic studies at The Arabic and Islamic School of Roanoke.
The children she teaches inspire her today. Habazi said, “I was actually approached five years ago by the principal of the school, who asked me if I could teach the students. I was 12 at the time, so I didn’t really think I was capable of teaching anything. However, after I got the hang of it, I realized how great of an effect I had on these children and how much they looked up to me. The fact that I was a role model to them, inspired me to be the best person I could be, so they could follow suit.”
Habazi’s first year was time-consuming as she had to prepare lesson plans and class activities, while also keeping track of grades and attendance. That was just the beginning, though, and Habazi said she now has a handle on the curriculum.
According to Habazi, “The school helps bring together the Muslim community in Roanoke and gives the students a chance to meet other students who share the same traditions and beliefs. In addition, since many of the students’ parents are immigrants from the Middle East or Africa, teaching students Arabic and Islam really helps them connect with their parents. For example, when I teach them how to say, ‘Hi, how are you?’ in Arabic, there are always a few students that shout, ‘I hear my Mom/Dad say that a lot!’”
The culture of a community gives people a character of their own; it shapes an individual’s thinking and influences his or her mentality. Teaching Arabic has impacted Habazi’s life by being successful to give back to the community.
“There are levels in the school. Level one is the most basic level, which I teach. Seeing my former students do well in the higher level classes show me that I successfully taught them the basics of what they learn in these later levels,” Habazi said.
It’s profound how a 17-year-old is impacting society by her teachings, allowing children to realize the importance of their culture.
Putting together a Halloween costume doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Some great costumes can be made from simple items around the house. Here are some suggestions from Edge staffers. Photos were taken by Shaban Athuman of Salem High School.
Elena Hernandez | Cave Spring High School
Girl on Fire By: Elena Hernandez, Cave Spring High School
Inspired by the sequel to “The Hunger Games,” this costume radiates Katniss Everdeen’s fighting spirit. For this costume I used a mockingjay pin T-shirt and some black skinny jeans. I attached a piece of twisted red mesh to the collar of my jacket and secured jagged yellow and orange tulle to give it the look of moving fire. On my jacket I fastened a homemade mockingjay pin made with a small cardboard circle, a glue gun and gold nail polish. Black boots and some gold eye shadow complete Katniss’ look. Any “Hunger Games” fan will want to try this ensemble for Halloween trick-or-treating or for dressing the part to see “Catching Fire” on opening night in theaters. “May the odds be ever in your favor.”
You will need:
*black t-shirt or a HG t-shirt
*black skinny jeans
*black or flame-patterned jacket
*yellow and orange tulle
*small piece of cardboard
*gold nail polish
*gold eye shadow
By: Shivani Chati, Hidden Valley High School
Shivani Chati | Hidden Valley High School
Every year, Halloween costumes get more ingenious and creative. For months, kids brainstorm to answer, “What should I be for Halloween this year?” A Rubik’s Cube costume is certain to gain the attention of others with its perky colors and originality. The good news for many is that this costume is speedy and stress-free. The instructions for this speedy costume are to take a square large box and seal the top, bottom and edges with packaging tape. On top of the box, cut a circular hole big enough to put your head through. Then, paint the external part of your box completely black. Give it some time to dry. Afterwards, organize your construction paper according to each color. To see how much space you have for the color squares, measure your box. Cut each color into nine equivalent sized square pieces. Paste the colored squares against the box as soon as the paint has become dry. With three pieces in each row, glue the squares in even rows. At last, your Rubik’s Cube is ready without being puzzled.
You will need: *Black paint
*Large paint brush
*Pack of multi-color construction paper
*Scissors and glue
*Black sweatshirt and sweatpants (optional)
Cassandra Kuhn | Lord Botetourt High School
Golfer By: Cassandra Kuhn, Lord Botetourt High School
One homemade Halloween costume idea is to be a professional golfer. Put together a collared shirt, appropriate length shorts, a skirt or khakis, and tennis shoes, plus some accessories like a visor or a hat. A golf club is will complete the outfit. Trick-or-treaters can tie a shopping bag to the end of golf clubs and make a short slogan to put on a sign. Some signs could be, “chip in some candy” or “I don’t golf for money, I golf for candy.”
You will need: *Collared shirt
*Shorts or a skirt
*Accessories (a visor/hat, golf club)
A Spice Girl By: Alex Moore, Lord Botetourt High School
This costume is inspired by the British pop girl Group popular in the late 1990s, the Spice Girls. The costume takes the band’s name literally, but it’s easy to get a little creative with this costume. The first step is to dress like any other day, except brighter. Neon or eye catching colors will fit well with the theme of the costume. Since I didn’t have many bright jeans, I wore black ones which work too. After that, I did my makeup matching as closely to possible what colors the spices are. Eye shadows that are red, yellow or orange work best. Next was the most important part — the bottled spices themselves. I carefully taped each bottle to every one of my fingers. With these simple pieces, the Spice Girl will be a hit.
You will need:
* 10 different spices
*A Brightly colored shirt
*Bright jeans or black jeans
*Red, yellow or orange eye shadow
Thanksgiving normally holds predictable traditions. For many, the events of the day include watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the morning, football games and the National Dog Show in the afternoon and dealing with rowdy relatives while eating a smorgasbord of food you’ll probably regret the next day.
But what about a nontraditional Thanksgiving? With carry-out pizza instead of a turkey? No relatives to be seen for miles? Watching movie marathons instead of football games? That sounds more like it.
We’re big animal lovers in my family. With two dogs and a cat, it’s difficult not to be. Plus, my family does not eat much meat, so instead of going through the time-consuming process of making a turkey, we order pizza.
That’s right. Pizza.
For sides, we try our best to be healthy and eat only organic fruits and vegetables.
My father’s backyard garden produces most of the ingredients we use. We grow tomatoes, beets, potatoes, strawberries, squash, peppers and many other fruits and vegetables — none of contain pesticides or genetically modified organisms.
My mother prepares and puts together creative dishes that feature nothing but our garden food, spices and store-bought organic ingredients.
Because of this, we do end up with some traditional Thanksgiving sides, like cooked vegetables, cranberry sauce, freshly baked bread, and homemade pumpkin pie.
Also, during the day, we write down what we’re thankful for in our lives on slips of paper and put them in a basket. At dinner, we pass the basket around the table, randomly pulling out the slips and reading them aloud. This activity is great for families with younger children who can learn to have gratitude for the big or small things in their lives.
My family doesn’t live near many relatives, unfortunately, so our dinners are kept small and cozy.
Now that I’ve told you mine, what are your non-traditional Thanksgiving traditions? Do you have any unique recipes or holiday activities?
If so, tell The Edge about them. Email your stories to email@example.com, or share them in the comments section below or on our Facebook page. Your stories could be used in an upcoming edition of The Edge.
By: Megan Pasquarell, Cave Spring High School Photos by: Shaban Athuman, Salem High School
Few sporting events offer the opportunity for both individual and team challenges. The sport of fencing, however, is incredibly demanding in both aspects. Roanoke’s Kirk Family YMCA offers classes for fencers of all levels and ages.
Instructor of 11 years and fencer for 37, Dave Filer teaches weekly classes for both beginner and intermediate students.
“Not only is fencing a sport, it is also a performance,” Filer says. “Our intermediate group competes and also fences theatrically. We perform annually at the Medieval Fair here in Roanoke.”
Fencing is a workout for both mind and body. “I often describe fencing as physical chess,” Filer said. “The fencer constantly has to think and plan ahead to combat his opponent. It requires fantastic cognition.”
Additionally, fencing is very much a physical workout.
Filer said, “Fencing is terrific aerobic exercise. It requires the use of muscles in different ways than normal. I taught an active soccer player how to fence and she could only fence for about 15 minutes. Fencing is similar to cross country skiing in the muscles that it uses.”
James Cole, senior at Cave Spring High School and fencing systems instructor of 8 years, agrees.
“It’s really exciting and a lot of hard work,” Cole said. “A fencer requires both mental and physical ability. A fencer has to think quicker, move faster, and be more precise than an opponent. Out strategizing is very important.”
Cole stated that he joined fencing because of the independence it offered.
“It’s a lot more individual. There is a lot less reliance [on teammates] than in other sports,” he said.
The YMCA class teaches students all aspects of the sport, including rules. The rules of fencing are more complex than they appear. Rules are established by the International Federation of Fencing and are enforced in all Olympic, international and world cup tournaments. A competitor who does not abide by these rules is warned using a card system and can be expelled from current matches or future tournaments.
Fencing is not random stabbing – there are designated names for approved movements that are divided into offensive and defensive moves. In addition to learning the rules of fencing, students are suited with the proper equipment. This includes a jacket and protective mask to safeguard against injuries.
A non-fencer may be surprised to learn that there are three weapons in modern-day fencing. The foil is light and is targeted at the torso. The epée is allowed to attack the entire body of the opponent. The sabre is only allowed to strike the body above the waist of the opponent, excluding the hands.
Modern day fencing claims its roots in the 18th century, but it is still relevant in culture today. The saying “touché” originates from fencing when a competitor is touched with the sword of his or her opponent. Additionally, the art of fencing is still offered in universities and schools around the world, including Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Although this sport can advance to the level of international competitions, fencers of all ages can find enjoyment in this art.
The Edge is a weekly page produced by teens from Roanoke and New River valleys during the school year. It publishes every Wednesday in The Roanoke Times' Extra section, and features stories, photos and illustrations by area teenagers. The Edge is led by two Roanoke Times staffers and the group meets once a week in the newsroom. This blog is a companion to the printed page.