Chatham High Senior Interns Inspire Young Artists and Musicians

Derek Walsh Credits: CHS
Julien Blanchard Credits: CHS
Laura Walsh Credits: CHS

For CHS seniors Julien Blanchard, Derek Walsh and Laura Walsh, the end of senior year will have some additional memories – a return to their own artistic inspirations. The talented trio are dynamic contributors to the CHS Visual and Performing Arts programs, spent their final weeks of high school in elementary school classrooms inspiring students to enjoy creating art and making music.

Blanchard and Derek Walsh are members of the CHS Honors Music Program for their membership in Select Choir, and have been cast in lead and supporting lead roles in dramatic/music productions throughout their high school experiences. Accomplished singers, each has earned membership in Regional and All-State Choirs, are members of the Chatham Performing Arts Club, members of the male student-run a cappella group Varsity Vocals, and well-known for their versatility on stage.

Blanchard is worked with Tracy Roskam at Southern Boulevard and Washington Avenue Schools, and Walsh spent his days at Milton and Washington Avenue Schools with Veronica Shaw, the district’s elementary Music specialists. Shaw and Roskam welcomed the senior interns, noting the excitement for the children in seeing the actors from the high school plays and musicals in their classrooms. Both teachers likened Blanchard and Walsh’s presence to having a “Chatham celebrities” in their classrooms, since the children already knew them through their acting roles.

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This year, Blanchard played ‘Prince Dauntless’ and Walsh ‘Jester’ in Once Upon a Mattress, and both had roles in the Fall one-act plays. Walsh is also a regular on stage with the Quogue Summer Theater Troupe in the Hamptons, which complements his “day job” as an ocean lifeguard. This Fall, Blanchard and Walsh will continue their musical interests as college freshmen; Blanchard at The College of New 

Jersey as an Education Major/Music minor, and Derek Walsh at Marymount Manhattan College as a Musical Theater major. 

Visual Art intern Laura Walsh joined elementary Art specialist Claudia Hauser at Washington Avenue and Southern Boulevard Schools, returning to her roots at Southern Boulevard instructing students in grades one, two, and three in the foundational processes of creating works of Art. In addition to her talents as a Visual Artist, Walsh is also an accomplished violinist and member of the CHS Honors Music program, and National Honor Society. Walsh is also a talented athlete, and serves as co-captain of the CHS Women’s Fall, Winter, and Spring Track teams.

She is notable in the Visual Art program as well, and enjoyed the opportunity to study two-dimensional Art in the advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art Program. Walsh recently participated in art shows at the Rizzo Gallery, Morris County Teen Arts, and the CHS art Show. This September, Walsh is looking forward to continuing her academic and artistic interests at Columbia University.

The senior internship program (SIP) offers seniors in good standing the opportunity to conclude their Chatham High School educational experience by participating in a four week, 100-hour work experience. Its purpose is to allow students the opportunity to apply their high school knowledge and skills in an area of personal interest and to use community resources to further their education.

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