Performing Arts Information
The Performing Arts Department at Maranatha includes Theater I, II, and III, Concert Choir, Mixed Ensemble, Orchestra, AP and Introduction to Music Theory, Dance I, II, and III and Dance Team. In these classes, students learn about artistic and creative expression, interpretation, production and directing, aesthetic review, historical and cultural context of theater and music, and connections to performing arts in careers and literature.
Currently, students perform a minimum of two major productions each year (winter and spring). These productions are performed on the stage of the Internationally acclaimed Ambassador Auditorium, located adjacent to our campus. In addition, music and dance students prepare for special performances both on and off campus. Our students are also often called upon to perform at other internal or external functions, such as the Los Angeles Association of Fundraising Professionals Philanthropy Day, Candellight Christmas Proccesional in Disneyland, Hollywood Charity Horse Show, Pasadena Mayor's State of the City Address, Pasadena Mayor's Prayer Breakfast, MHS chapels, MHS Grandparents' Day, and more.
Performing Arts Faculty
Aaron Kolberg has been making music for many years. He received his B.A. in Music with an emphasis in Arranging from Azusa Pacific University in 2002. He has been involved in musical theatre for many years, musically directing on stages from the Warehouse Theatre to the Ambassador Auditorium. Some of his favorite musical direction credits include Annie Get Your Gun, Oklahoma, Guys and Dolls, Little Shop of Horrors, Hello, Dolly!, Fiddler on the Roof, A Year with Frog and Toad, Sound of Music and Into the Woods. He is on staff at Maranatha High School as the Music Director, teaching Music Theory, Choir and Mixed Ensamble. In addition to his reputable work in theatre, he is also a freelance composer/songwriter, writing music for short films, websites and weddings. He is currently studying to receive his M.M. in Conducting from Azusa Pacific University.
Tiffany LaBarbera-Palmer holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from the University of Louisville and came to Maranatha halfway through her pursuit of a second Bachelors degree in Music Education from CSUN. As a theatre and music educator, she has worked at Polytechnic, The Webb School, Hollywood Schoolhouse, St. Francis Xavier and Glendale Centre Theatre, where she currently serves as Camp Director for their Summer Acting Camp. As a voice artist, she has been featured on www.ABCmouse.com, Radio Disney, Varese Serabande Records, and most recently in audio dramas for Macabre Mansion Horror & Sci-Fi Radio. At 10 days old, she was the inspiration for the Bill Evans song “Tiffany,” later writing the lyrics as they appear on Grammy Award-Winning artist Tierney Sutton’s Blue in Green album. She has also served as composer and lyricist for two full-length children's musicals, Peter Pan and The Frog and the Princess, both of which were produced by Glendale Centre Theatre. Tiffany is a proud member of ASCAP and CETA was once a frequent face on the SoCal musical theatre scene having performed at The Madrid Theatre, Fullerton Civic Light Opera, Glendale Centre Theatre and The Open Fist, to name a few.
Sarah Shoemaker has been part of the Performing Arts faculty at Maranatha since 2006. Since then, she has grown the dance program from a one-level recreational dance class to a three-level technical jazz dance program, including the addition of the MHS Dance Team in 2008. Sarah grew up dancing in private studios and has a background in ballet/pointe, jazz, tap, and modern dance; with experience on the competition circuit. She has been performing in regional theater since childhood, and has been choreographing and teaching dance for more than ten years. Choreography credits include Godspell (Azusa Pacific University), Disney's Beauty and the Beast (APU), Oklahoma (MHS and Glenkirk), Guys and Dolls, Fiddler On the Roof, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, and Anything Goes. Directorial credits include Into the Woods and The Sound Of Music. Sarah holds a BA in Theater Arts from Azusa Pacific University. When she is not in the dance studio or at the theater, she is at home with her husband, Andy, and two young sons, Rowan and Ezekiel.
John Wells likes nothing better than to stand in front of an orchestra, baton in hand. Since the writing and conducting of his first musical production at age 18 he has had countless opportunities to do just that. John has written his own musical productions since that time, but has also worked as music director at churches such as Calvary Community Church, Westlake Village, Bethany Church of Sierra Madre and First Baptist Church of La Crescenta; and every one of those places saw John in front of an orchestra. He has toured as keyboardist with many different musical groups, including touring with the well-known worship composer and leader, Tommy Walker. John also has numerous production credits to his name, producing all the major productions at the churches at which he has worked, while also producing musical and dramatic productions at Pacific Christian High School. John has his BA from California State University Northridge and his MDiv from Biola University.