Let’s us move beyond history and the three R’s and speak to the importance of music, art, drama, foreign language, and shop. If Mrs. Gorham were standing by my side and guiding my fingers, she would remind me to credit Miss Nelson for her brilliant leadership and to applaud Miss Nelson for her incredible knack in hiring the right people.
Please note: This series of articles will cover the first fifty years of Graland. Information comes from Ruth Gorham’s book.
“Every class produced plays or gave poetry readings, to correlate with the history study, aided by the art, craft, and rhythm departments. . . For assemblies, Lucile Hobelman produced creative drama and choral speaking groups in her third and fourth grade (classes). Their presentations were often seen by visitors from the drama classes at the University of Denver. Sometimes, their programs were given at the Denver Public Library. Later, with Fran Kanard, fine musical dramas were produced.
“In the earliest years, Barbara Nunn, who could make an authentic costume overnight from the most unpromising looking materials, was the school’s joy. We could never have produced the exquisite Christmas plays without her. Everyone of us constantly depended on her skill and creativity. She never failed us.
“Kay Irwin was also willing and always available to help, whether it was making Aztec headdresses from a bundle of crepe paper, or creating a toreador costume (and the bull) on very little notice.
“ Anne Matlach’s many plays brought about tremendous interest and appreciation of drama. Will anyone ever forget her Christmas at Dingley Hall? . . .
“John Riley brought his many talents not only to the music department with his annual production of Gilbert and Sullivan, as well as his glee club programs, but also to drama (productions) which were enlivened by Jean Nelson’s costuming. He directed many plays in which faculty took part, to the delight of parents and children.
“Drama is today, under Glenna Kelly’s able direction, an enormously popular and worthwhile activity.”