Poetry Out Loud School Finalists Dazzle Community

By Paige Jaenicke, Editor-in-Chief

Leah M. (left) and Fiona O. (right) celebrate their incredible poetry performances. (Photo courtesy of Trinity Hall staff)

At Tuesday morning’s Community Meeting, the Trinity Hall students, faculty, and staff beheld exceptional performances of spoken word by two Monarch seniors, Leah Marchetti ‘23 and Fiona O’Brien ‘23.  Finalists for the school-level contest of Poetry Out Loud– a nationwide arts education project that promotes the study of poetry via “dynamic recitation,” Marchetti and O’Brien competed for a spot in the regional competition by enumerating two poems.  Their performances, which were deemed outstanding by the large crowd with a roar of applause, were evaluated by members of the faculty: Mrs. Alyssa Morreale, Ms. Mariana Sierra, and Mrs. Brittany Orrico.  

Mrs. Orrico has worked with the Poetry Out Loud program as an accuracy judge and advocate among students at Trinity Hall for nearly five years.  She finds the art of poetry recitation fascinating and enjoys supporting the Monarchs to find empowerment, confidence, and success in their poetry recitations as they represent the community at school competitions and beyond.

“Choosing a poem that resonates with you, connecting with it line by line as you learn it, and then sharing the words with others is a beautiful process,” said Orrico.

Fiona O’Brien ‘23 expressed that although she wanted to participate in the competition as a freshman, she ultimately elected not to as the thought of performing in front of the entire school seemed too daunting a task.  However, O´’Brien, after participating in a number of theatrical performances since, decided that this year would be different.

“I wanted to participate in Poetry Out Loud this year because I saw it as an opportunity to conquer my past fears and showcase my appreciation for the arts,” said O’Brien.  “Even though I was nervous because the process was entirely new to me, it was a wonderful experience.  As a performer, I value more than just the theatric side of art.  I love literature and poetry as well.  So, I am grateful for having had the ability to explore spoken word.”

Fiona O’Brien displays emotion in her spoken word. (Photo Courtesy of Trinity Hall staff)

Toward the end of the community meeting period, once the judges had ample time to deduce a victor, Marchetti was declared the winner, although both competitors received resoundingly positive feedback from those in the crowd.   Marchetti continued on to the next round- the regional competition at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College on February 8. 

“I have loved poetry since I was in middle school,” said Marchetti.  “I love spoken word because it portrays feelings and images that are difficult to express.  It makes poetry come to life as the words are read aloud in the form of a performance.”

Marchetti performed a total of two spoken word recitations in front of the community. (Photo courtesy of Trinity Hall staff)

 The Trinity Hall community wished Marchetti the best of luck as she proudly represented the Monarch arts program in a competitive battle of art, eloquence, and, most of all, beauty.

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