By Kathleen Casperson
Jan. 25, 2023: The arts were in full bloom this past weekend in Bronxville, especially at the Bronxville Elementary School. Over 150 students in the third, fourth and fifth grades presented the musical MonstroCity.
The play was written, choreographed and directed by Ms. Leisha Apker, who is the founder of NYRKS, LLC. (NY Rising Kid Stars). Ms. Apker and her production crew worked hand in hand with the Bronxville PTA to bring the show to life.
Two casts put on four shows on January 21st and 22nd, to an auditorium packed with family and friends. Ms. Leisha, as the students call her, and the cast put on an hour and half musical with two acts, 14 scenes and 15 choreographed songs… with only 9 days of rehearsals! Impossible to pull off in roughly 2-1/2 weeks? With Ms. Apker at the helm, helpers from high school, middle and elementary school, NYRKS staff, PTA, teachers themselves and amazing parent volunteers assisted with everything from set construction to costumes, hair / makeup and more! They pulled it off again, as they do each year!
The audience gave huge rounds of applause, with many screams of delight at the end. The excitement and joyful enthusiasm was obvious through the enormous smiles on all faces involved. It’s good to know that theatre is alive and well at the Bronxville school. The audience saw some very talented students get their start on the stage this past weekend.
Ms. Leisha started NYRKS in 2007 to “build self-esteem and confidence in children through theatre.” Many of her past students have gone on to college and studied theatre, perform professionally, received scholarships in the arts, or simply found something special within themselves that they used to better their lives.
Ms. Leisha shared with us, that she is beyond appreciative and humbled by the countless parents who have come forward to thank her for the positive impact her programs have had on their children’s lives. Watching Leisha (Ms. Leisha) work with the kids, it is abundantly clear that she loves her job, adores the children, and is without a doubt bringing an incrediblly creative and positive energy to our kids.
She said “The children learn job interview skills, public speaking, teamwork, focus skills and memorization techniques. “I encourage them throughout and always try to help them find inner confidence and grow as a person. I find music, movement and singing to have a beneficial impact on kids …and adults!”
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The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the “Bronxville Model School.” The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.
The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.
The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children. All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.
The Bronxville Public Library
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)
Concordia Conservatory, a preeminent center for music education in Westchester County, is a welcoming community where children and adults find lifelong inspiration and joy through learning, performing, listening to, and participating with others in music. Concordia Conservatory, a community outreach division of Concordia College, offers top quality music programs for early childhood, youth, adults and seniors. The Conservatory's vision is to enrich the lives of the people in our community through music.
Executive Director: Kathleen Suss
Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art
171 White Plains Rd
99B Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
117 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708