Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Eagle Rock’s Take on ‘The Wiz’

Eagle Rock School students and faculty members are busy rehearsing for a series of performances of the Tony Award-winning 1975 musical, “The Wiz,” which are scheduled in Estes Park at month’s end.

The Wiz Eagle Rock SchoolOur production of “The Wiz” (March 31-April 2, 2016) is an urban retelling of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 tale, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” using Motown, Funk and Soul music to rework the story into the context of modern African-American culture. A film adaption of the show was released in 1978, starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.

Eleven talented Eagle Rock students and four staff members will perform in our staged version, backed by a live four-piece professional pit band. Meghan Tokunaga-Scanlon, Eagle Rock School’s Music Instructional Specialist, directs the show, with co-direction by World Languages Instructional Specialist Brighid Scanlon and musical direction by 2015/2016 Public Allies Teaching Fellow Michael Grant.

Performances will be staged beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 31 as well as Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2 at the Hempel Auditorium within the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. Admission at the door is “pay what you like” and all proceeds benefit the Eagle Rock Graduate Higher Education Fund.

But we digress. The story of Dorothy and her road trip to Oz has become known worldwide for its themes of home, belonging, belief in oneself and freedom. “The Wiz,” with its original premiere in 1975 with an all-black cast and African-American styles, boldly showed that this classic story belongs to everyone, with audiences of all races flocking to watch productions of “The Wiz” over the past four decades. In addition to be culturally empowering, it is a “joy machine,” gorgeously designed, with quick humor and irresistible melodies.

Preparations for our production began last fall with a Continue reading…

Thanksgiving Offers a Full of Roster of Activities for Eagle Rock School Students

For most of us, it’s tough being away from immediate family during the holidays — especially the big ones like Thanksgiving. So here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, we go to great lengths to provide two full days of events and activities for our students. In that way, the school environment provides a second family-like experience.

This holiday is no exception, with so many activities on the agenda that there’s little time to think about home. Here’s the rundown:

Thanksgiving Day at Eagle Rock School

Meet the Team: Joel ‘Shortz’ Ziegler, Eagle Rock Facilities Maintenance Crewmember

Joel ‘Shortz’ Ziegler

Joel ‘Shortz’ Ziegler

His mom might have named him Joel, but pretty much everybody calls him Shortz. His job here at Eagle Rock entails keeping everything safe, in working order, and looking good. And all it takes is one look at our beautiful mountainside campus to know that Shortz’ is really good at his job!

As is required of everyone who works here, Shortz loves learning. And like most everyone else, he wishes Eagle Rock had been around when he was in high school!

Get to know Shortz by reading his profile below:

Eagle Rock: What did you do prior to coming to work for Eagle Rock?

Shortz: I’ve been in Estes Park since the summer of 2000. For most of that time I worked in a lot of departments at the YMCA here in Estes Park. I spent a few years in the programs department, teaching outdoor education, and I facilitated many family programs. The last several years at the “Y” were spent in buildings and grounds, where I learned everything I could about grounds and buildings maintenance.

Eagle Rock: What attracted you to Eagle Rock?

Shortz: I heard a lot about what was happening out here and what Eagle Rock was about. And I’ve always wanted what I did for a living to make a difference in this world. I think this school epitomizes giving young adults a good place to grow and better themselves — and they get an education, too! I feel blessed to get paid to do what I love at a place that is making such a difference in the lives of our future.

Eagle Rock: When you’re not working, what do you like to do in your spare time?

Shortz: I like traveling, mountain biking, downhill biking, climbing, camping, hiking, working on cars or trucks — helping people out with what I know how to do.

Eagle Rock: What reality TV should you be on and why would you win or be kicked off? Continue reading…

Meet The Team: Eagle Rock Tech Associate, Daniel Madson

Our tech associate Daniel Madson’s days are spent resolving matters of how to and why. He manages the network, computer resources and peripherals here at Eagle Rock, and develops and maintains our school’s database, as well as manages our audiovisual resources, all the while keeping a close eye on our Learning Resource Center.

On a good day, he’s able to supply solutions and considerable thought to all of those how tos and whys that keep him deep in the bowels of the tech side of our world. He’s also a proud member of Aspen House.

Meet Daniel Madson:

Eagle Rock: What did you do prior to coming to work for Eagle Rock?

Daniel: Well, I’ve been in the Estes Park (Colo.) area for 27 years. The bulk of that time was spent at the YMCA of The Rockies where I worked as a housekeeper, painter and conference services team member. I culminated my career at the “Y” as Conference Services Manager. Although not educationally related, I believe it was my years spent at the YMCA that best prepared me for my time at Eagle Rock. My experiences in working with young adults and an internationally diverse staff have proven very valuable to me in navigating the Eagle Rock community. I have many wonderful friendships and memories as a result of my 15 years at the “Y”.

I also spent six years at Valhalla Resort here in Estes Park. It was a small family operated not my family, of course — vacation resort. It was the kind of place where everyone shared in all tasks, from the owners to the freshest summer hire. We all worked very closely together. It was really like being part of a family with its triumphs and tribulations. It was at Valhalla where I started to venture into the world of IT, where by necessity I built their first website and helped with troubleshooting the reservation system and other computer/network issues.

Eagle Rock: What attracted you to Eagle Rock?

Daniel: Years ago, Eagle Rock didn’t have a full time technology position. As technological needs and demands evolved, it was determined that Eagle Rock should develop a fulltime position to meet those needs and demands. Technology skills aside, my experiences and the concept of community at the YMCA and Valhalla helped my realize Eagle Rock would be a good fit for me.

Eagle Rock: When you’re not working, what do you like to do in your spare time?

Daniel: I love city simulation games. They provide a great distraction and really help me recharge. They also help me come to grips with my god complex. I also enjoy exploring the science behind the Continue reading…