The Speech team performs at Fine Arts Week after their best performance in school history.


Kathryn Castanoli

Andrea Alcaraz giving her speech at fine arts week

This is the week Dukes students and staff are always excited for every year. It’s fine arts week. To start fine arts week this year was York’s speech team. This was the team’s best year. The speeches we got from the four students; Nico Thoresen, Brooklyn Nuss, Andrea Alcaraz, and Fernando Valdes Nicholson, were great with each one doing something different from the rest. They gave their thoughts on fine arts week and how it is different from competitions. They also gave their thoughts on what contributed to their successful season. 

           “I like fine arts week because there is no pressure to score well and you get to perform for your peers and teachers.” Alcaraz said. “Speech has challenged me to become mentally tougher, working on my stage fright and handling anxiety surrounding public speaking. During a tournament day, we all do group warm-ups, then I mentally run my speech to make sure that it is memorized and ready to go. If you see me during a tournament day, you can usually catch me pacing back and forth, rehearsing in front of lockers.”

           Fine arts week is great for people to get their talents recognized. These students get the chance to perform in front of their friends, classmates, and teachers. They put so much work in and get the chance to show it off to the school this week. 

       “ In tournaments you have to worry about your competition and how you rank compared to others, so the stakes are different, but the most notable difference in my mind is the audience,” Thoresen said.” A big thing that helped me throughout the year was watching my competitors. Seeing what they did poorly, or more importantly, what they did well, let me know what I needed to do to get better. In addition to watching my competitors, I worked with York’s amazing coaches, and I worked on what I was given in my critiques.”

          Fine arts week performances take the pressure off having a high score and the performers just having a fun time showing off their talents to their peers. 

           “My teammates were a big part of my success this season.” Nuss said, “Not only did they watch me practice my speech and give me tips, they also came to my rounds and watched me during competitions. The team is such a warm environment and it is wonderful to have people so close to you that support you throughout the year. “