Tag Archives: arts conservatory program

Student Spotlight: Asher Dobrin

By Tori Kitchens

Senior Arts Conservatory Program (ACP) member and student-athlete Asher Dobrin has been part of the Oak Hall community since the beginning of his academic career. As a lifer*, Dobrin has participated in several extra curriculars, including cross country, soccer, track and field, band, and numerous clubs. “For me, the most important thing and the definition of a student-athlete is probably just being able to incorporate those two parts of my life together, and I like to blend it together and relate my academics and my athletics. I think it makes it more enjoyable,” he said. 

Dobrin began running cross country going into his sixth-grade year. Many athletes do cross country to stay in shape for another sport, and his parents wanted him to run to prepare for soccer. As he kept practicing, Dobrin became of Oak Hall’s strongest runners, and achieved a personal best time of 16:24 for a 5K. Dobrin has been a part of the state runner-up team for the past three cross country seasons. “While this is more of an on-paper accomplishment, I think it’s representative of what I am really proud of the most, which is just being a part of one of the best groups of people I could ask for,” he noted. Out of 227 runners at the state finals this year, Dobrin placed 26.

Soccer has always been one of those sports Asher could always come back to. He began playing soccer around the age of three or four on a community league team and as he reached middle school, Dobrin joined GSA, a travel soccer team. “I’ve played my whole life and [I] am not very good, but it’s nostalgic and comforting,” Dobrin joked. 

Although no one in his immediate family played an instrument, Dobrin was always interested in learning about music and seemed to gravitate toward it. “I thought it was cool and all my friends did it, so now I’m in it,” he pointed out. He began band in sixth grade, but he did not find his instrument, the bass, until eighth grade. Going into his sophomore year, Dobrin made the decision to audition for ACP. “I really wanted to challenge myself, and I put a lot of time into music in 9thgrade,” Dobrin explained. As a senior, Dobrin can play upright bass, electric bass, cello, piano, ukulele, and some guitar, but he has always preferred playing the upright bass. “I also love to dabble around on any instruments I can get my hands on,” Dobrin stated.

Dobrin wants younger student-athletes and ACP students to understand that enjoying what they are doing and not getting too stressed out are the most important things. “Always make sure you’re obviously enjoying it, but you’re putting your full effort into things because if you put more effort into it, you’re going to enjoy it more because you’ll enjoy the outcome more,” Dobrin stated. 

Hoping to attend the University of Georgia or the University of Colorado, Dobrin would like to study music composition or environmental studies. In addition, Dobrin would like to either sign with or walk on to a Division I Cross Country and Track team. 

* A “lifer” is a student that has consecutively attended Oak Hall from Pre-K, Junior Kindergarten, or Kindergarten through senior year.

A – Z with Asher Dobrin

A – Advice you’d give your freshman-self? Do your homework.
B – Best pre-race meal? Apples.
C – Coach’s best words of advice? Run fast, turn left.
D – Favorite dessert? Ice cream.
E – Most entertaining class? Freshman year geometry with Mr. L.
F – Favorite high school moment? I don’t know yet. The lounge freshman year with the carpet!
G – Goals for your senior year? Get into college and get into musical school.
H – Hoping to attend what college? Either University of Georgia or University of Colorado.
I – Interesting thing you do outside of arts and athletics? I volunteer with conservationist agencies. 
J – Favorite joke? What’s — oh I forgot! What’s blue and not very heavy? Light blue. 
K – Key to maintaining homework? Prioritizing assignments. 
L – Least favorite music style to play? Jazz.
M – Music you listen to? Indie, funk, and rock.
N – Netflix or Hulu? Netflix. 
O – What other sport would you like to try? Volleyball. 
P – Preparations for a big meet or performance? I try to sleep, I drink a lot of water, and I eat sushi.
Q – Question you’d ask your future self? Am I still not sleeping enough?
R – Most relaxing part of your day? Going to bed.
S – What would your senior superlative be? Best hair. 
T – Favorite TV show? I don’t watch TV. 
U – Most underrated music genre? Anarbor funk. 
V – Favorite vacation spot? Anywhere with mountains. 
W – What does it mean to you to be an Eagle? A lot.
X – Have you ever had an x-ray? Yes, many. 
Y – What do you want your impact to younger athletes and musicians be? Have fun!
Z – What is your zodiac sign? Cancer. 

Senior Spotlight: Lucas Walters

Oak Hall’s Arts Conservatory Program (ACP) allows students to expand their creativity in their given study (art, music, or theater). In an effort to make this year special for Oak Hall’s senior ACP students, we created A-Z questions for them to answer. We hope you enjoy!

By Aiden Wacksman

A – Advice you’d give your freshman-self? Stop worrying about things you can’t change. I think that’s one of the things. The biggest thing that a lot of people tend to fall prey to, it’s a waste of time and energy. When you think about “How am I going to invest my time and energy?” stop investing it in things that you cannot make any sort of substantial difference to.
B – Best ACP moment? I really enjoy the critiques, just because you get a lot of really helpful advice from other artists. A lot of them don’t do the same type of art as you, so you can get some really interesting perspectives.
C – Career goals? I want to be a board licensed pharmacist. So, I’m going to go to school and intern at a pharmacy and all that good stuff.
D – Favorite dessert? I don’t know, it sounds dry to just say ice cream, but definitely ice cream.
E – Most entertaining art show? I think it would be the AP art show that we did last year. I didn’t even get to see it because I wasn’t in town at the time, but I think the quality of the art would have made it more entertaining.
F – Future plans for your craft? That’s interesting, because I’m definitely not pursuing it as a career. So, future plans. I’m a part of a group doing art things, so we’re gonna see what we can do with that. Long form video content is one thing that is in the works currently, that’s really about it.
G – Goals for your senior year? Get accepted into a college and make a large, large amount of art.
H – Hoping to attend which college? I think honestly the base case scenario would be getting accepted into UCF which I think is possible.
I – Interesting thing about you away from your artistic ability? I really enjoy programming, I don’t do it as often as I would like to, so I get a bit rusty.
J – Favorite joke? I have no idea! It’s just the funny things that come up sometimes.
K – Keys to maintaining homework? Probably the biggest thing is communication with your teachers so that they understand what’s going on. Because if they don’t understand it, you’re going to start racking up bad grades, and it’s harder to change a grade when somebody actually writes it down, you know, it’s harder to get them to change it. So, if you actually communicate with your teachers and they understand what you’re doing, generally it’s going to turn out better.
L – Least favorite art style? I don’t really have a favorite or least favorite art style. Well, I definitely do have a favorite type, and that would be art that has a little bit more to it, it’s a little bit more complicated, that you’re going to have to spend more time thinking about, I think. I think the best kind of art is art that has a lot of effort put into it and you can see that’s there’s a lot of effort put into it. Well-designed, well-crafted things.
M – Music you listen to? A whole lot of everything. Really just whatever I like. There can be a lot of things that help you when you’re making art. For me I think it’s more about the tempo of the music than the actual genre, at least for when you’re making art. But really just whatever. 
N – Netflix or Hulu? I don’t have Hulu, so I guess I’m going to go with Netflix.
O – Outside hobbies? I don’t know. Losing weight maybe, that would be a good one. There’s really nothing to do outside in Florida because it’s so hot. 
P – Preparations for a big showing? I think the biggest thing is that you talk to someone about it. Whenever I talk to people about things it usually helps me to process through them. Whenever you’re going to have a big show, you’re going to be really nervous about it. Usually there’s not as much to be nervous about. Usually, it’s not a very big deal and you will figure out what you’re going to do or how you’re going to put things together just by talking about it.
Q – Question you would ask your future self? Did the side hobby of art actually end up becoming something or did it just stay a hobby?
R – Most relaxing part of your day? Usually right before bed, I would say. 
S – What would your Senior Superlative be? That’s a good question. Honestly, I don’t know. Maybe class clown, but I feel like I’ve stopped talking nearly as much as I did whenever I got to the school. It’s better to listen more than it is to talk. So yeah, I’m not sure about that one.
T – Favorite TV show? I enjoy Stranger Things. That’s the last really bingeable thing I watched.
U – Most underrated pet? I feel like chihuahuas get a really bad rep for being incredibly annoying or hostile, but with dogs it’s really all about how they’re trained. It’s not [their nature] or something. It’s just [that] usually people who get chihuahuas don’t train them and just want a “handbag dog”.
V – Favorite vacation spot? Somewhere new. Somewhere I can be with the people that I like to be around. I think those are the two big things.
W – What does it mean to be an Eagle? It means having a lot of really great opportunities when it comes to arts and everything else really. 
X – Have you ever had any X-Rays? No, I don’t think I have. 
Y – Your impact on the younger artists? That’s a really good question. I think one of the biggest things (this had to be taught to me whenever I started in the ACP) is don’t be afraid to tell people things about their art that they don’t want to hear. Obviously, no one wants to hear from someone that they don’t like their art. Whenever first year people are doing the critiques, they never want to say that they don’t like something, and if they do say they don’t like something, they’re going to put a lot of emphasis on “I don’t like it” rather than “I think it’s not good.” I think the biggest, most important impact is to make sure that they are able to give out criticism and are also able to take it.
Z – Favorite Zoo animal? Monkeys.

Senior Spotlight: Anya AitSahlia

Oak Hall’s Arts Conservatory Program (ACP) allows students to expand their creativity in their given study (art, music, or theater). In an effort to make this year special for Oak Hall’s senior ACP students, we created A-Z questions for them to answer. We hope you enjoy!

By Lucas Walters

A – Advice you’d give your freshman-self? Trust yourself.
B – Best ACP moment? Probably any of the rehearsals for school musicals because of how beautifully chaotic they are.
C – Career goals? To be happy and to get really invested in what I’m doing. But I don’t know what I want to do yet.
D – Favorite dessert? Freshly baked cookies.
E – Most entertaining rehearsal? Well, this wasn’t really a rehearsal but in theory one day there were a bunch of wasps and Akhila and Asher were chasing them down with the alcohol spray bottles and that was hilarious.
F – Future plans for your craft? I definitely want to keep experimenting with different styles and work on composing music myself, but wherever I feel like going, I’ll go with my music.
G – Goals for your senior year? I really want to try to make myself uncomfortable with the music I play. Again, with the idea of trying new things and experimenting with different styles of music.
H – Hoping to attend (which college)? Anywhere but here. But, I’m not sure where I’ll end up. I just hope to get out of Gainesville.
I – Interesting thing about you away from your music/theater ability? I am a secret cheese connoisseur.
J – Favorite joke? Anything that’s corny. One of my favorites is, ‘What did the pirate say on his 80th birthday? Aye matey!’
K – Keys to maintaining homework? Write everything down and make sure you read it all, so you do it all.
L – Least favorite music/musical/art style? I don’t know. I like all music.
M – Music you listen to? Right now, I’m listening to lots of Billie Eilish and her brother Phineas, but again, I’m open to anything.
N – Netflix or Hulu? Netflix.
O – Outside hobbies (other than your art)? I love biking and also doing calligraphy.
P – Preparations for a big performance/concert? I definitely need caffeine and I usually like to watch a little bit of a TV show or something to de-stress before the performance.
Q – Question you would ask your future self? Did you figure out what you want to do with your life?
R – Most relaxing part of your day? I think singing with my sister on the drive home from school.
S – What would your senior superlative be? I’m not sure. I like to laugh and smile, so maybe best smile or something like that.
T – Favorite TV show? Right now, I’m re-watching Stranger Things so I’ll say that’s my favorite for now.
U – Most underrated pet? Guinea pig.
V – Favorite vacation spot? Definitely Iceland.
W – What does it mean to you to be an Eagle? Mostly being able to really dive into my passions in this community where we have a great support network of peers and teachers.
X – Any X-rays? No. Knock on wood though.
Y – Your impact to the younger musicians/artists/thespians? I really just hope to show them that it’s all about balance and balancing your dedication, effort, and really having fun so that you make the most out of your life as a musician.
Z – Favorite zoo animal? Otters. They’re super cute.