Talon Wins International Competition Awards


Jesus Mosaic by Bailey van Tassel ’16, which manipulates hundreds of images of saints to create an interpretation of the traditional Sacred Heart of Jesus devotional image

By Louinn Lota
Executive Editor, The Chaminade Talon

For the first time in school history, The Chaminade Talon has won international competition awards.

Talon featured artist, Bailey van Tassell ’16 won 1st Place for Illustration in the Youth Journalism International’s 2015 Excellence in Journalism contest with his piece, Jesus Mosaic. The Talon also took 2nd in Graphic Design, while Editor-in-Chief, Shreya Yepuri ’15 earned Honorable Mention for her article, Boys Sports vs. Girls Sports.

Student journalists, photographers and content designers from 23 U.S. states, Brazil, China, Ethiopia, Egypt, Italy, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria and the United Kingdom, competed for awards. The annual contest is in its sixth year, and recognizes writing, reporting, art, photo and multimedia skills in more than two dozen news, sports and opinion column categories. Eligible works were published in English by non-professionals, age 19 and under, between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.

“This year the field of entries was the strongest I’ve seen,” said contest judge Joe Killian on the Youth Journalism (YJI) website. Another judge, Lynn Abrahamson, a Maryland public health official, agreed, “It was especially hard to choose winners this year.”

“It was inspiring to see so many well-crafted pieces on so many diverse topics,” Mr. Killian added. “It becomes more obvious each year that the talent level is increasing,” added another contest judge Frank Johnson, leader of the Manufacturing Alliance of Connecticut.

“Many of these writers are far better than those who report local news in Connecticut or elsewhere,” Mr. Johnson added.

Dr. Mariechen Puchert from East London, South Africa, also a contest judge, found the feature writing impressive. “It was a pleasure to see that young journalists are not shying away from addressing serious topics that have a direct impact on their peers.”

Chaminade winners include:

Bailey van Tassell ’16, Jesus Mosaic, 1st place, Illustration
The Chaminade Talon, 2nd place, Graphic Design
Shreya Yepuri ’15, Boys Sports vs. Girls Sports, Honorable Mention, Sports News Individual

Chaminade Filmmakers Win Award at NFFTY

By Karen Ann Thumm
Chaminade Film Program Director

The film “Blind Ambitions” won the award for being the best film in its category at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth. Affectionately known as NFFTY (pronounced “nifty”) by the festival attendees, the four-day festival showcased more than two hundred films and represented filmmakers from 26 countries. Many of the films were made by students currently enrolled in college film programs, making it an honor just to be among the films selected for the festival.

The film “Blind Ambitions”  was created as an assignment for film class, a first semester storytelling assignment that challenges students to create a film without any dialogue. The production team includes Director Ryan Town ’16, Producer Colette Mendoza ’17, Cinematographer Louis Gerny ’18, and Editor Noah Hosaka ’18. The film tells the story of a mime who struggles between having a successful career and pursuing a possible romance with a blind woman he sees at the park. As a silent film, an original score by Alex Mansour ’15 sets the tone for the character’s struggle.

NFFTY is the world’s largest film festival for filmmakers under the age of 24. The student filmmakers traveled to Seattle for the opening night gala on Thursday, April 23, and attended screenings, panel discussions with industry professionals, and master classes in screenwriting and directing during the weekend. The festival was an opportunity to celebrate filmmaking in all of its facets, and our Chaminade filmmakers enjoyed meeting fellow filmmakers from all over the world.

The film also stars Chaminade students — Thanos Brunson ’16 is the mime who falls in love with the Blind Girl, who played by Carmen Cabral ’18. You can see the film for yourself on the Chaminade Film YouTube channel at this link: https://youtu.be/RoUO2g9pIzs

Today is Chaminade Giving Day


Chaminade College Preparatory’s inaugural Giving Day kicked off at 12:00 a.m. PDT on Thursday, April 30. It is a one day giving challenge bringing together the entire Chaminade family with a goal of securing 300 donors over a 24-hour period.

If this goal is met, a generous alumni family will give the school $10,000. To be counted on Giving Day, alumni, parents, faculty, and staff are asked to give a gift between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. PDT on Thursday, April 30. The easiest and quickest way to give is to visit chaminadegivingday.org and clicking on the “Make a Gift” button. Gifts can be made over the phone by calling 818-360-0615.

In addition to giving, the Chaminade family is asked to show their support for Chaminade by sharing that they’ve given on social media and challenging their friends and family to do the same. The hashtag for Giving Day is #forChaminade.

Updates will be provided throughout the day, so please visit the Chaminade Giving Day website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Fencing Teams are Back-to-Back State Champions

Chaminade Fencing competed in the State Championships at Victor Valley High School and came away with impressive victories.

With a total of 142 points, they are now the back-to-back men’s and women’s combined overall state champions! In addition, their results include:

  • Men’s Foil Team – 1st
  • Men’s Epee Team – 1st
  • Men’s Saber Team – 1st
  • Women’s Foil Team – 1st
  • Women’s Epee team – 4th
  • Women’s Saber Team – 2nd
  • Men’s Combined Team – State Champs
  • Women’s Combined Team – 2nd

Congratulations to Chaminade Fencing and their coach, Derek Snyder ’01!

Eagle Regiment Performs in Spain

by Ken Hoffman

Each year, the city of Castellón de la Plana in Spain holds a festival celebrating the founding of the city in honor of the Virgin Mary. A part of the celebration includes the Festival Internacional de Musica, with performances from bands from around the world. This year, Chaminade’s Eagle Regiment was one of those bands. In festival history, there have been only four appearances by a band from the United States.

The first full day in Spain was busy for the band. Their first event was an Intersolfa – an informal parade when the circus comes to town. Traffic stopped for the band as it began to march through town to advertize the upcoming musical festivities, and draw people to the park for the Mascletas. At the halfway mark, the band stopped to play for the members at one of the Gaitas, or community social clubs. The regiment then continued to the park, where they played a standstill performance for the attendees.

The band became tourists and witnessed the Mascletas, a fireworks competition part of the Magdalena. Fireworks shows are judged on musical concepts like balance, pacing, rhythm, dynamics, etc. After a short rest, the band participated in another parade; this time with a band from Poland. This parade had an audience of more than 1,000 people, and involved throwing colorful confetti.


To finish the day, Eagle Regiment participated in Animacion, or the stage show. With bands from Poland, Hungary, and Holland, Chaminade’s band performed a stage show for an audience of more than 3,000 in the town square, Plaça Major. Under the lights and with a national television audience, Eagle Regiment thrilled the crowd with their performance!

Friday, the band’s second day in Spain included the International Parade. In addition to the bands which had performed the night before, we were joined by the bands from Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, and Croatia. While the International Parade was not excessively long in length (just under three miles), it took approximately two hours, and Chaminade students performed like seasoned vets! The crowd of over 30,000 people smiled, clapped, and cheered.

The students and teachers also participated in a brief ceremony at City Hall, where Drum Major Kyle Pineda presented gifts to the Mayor. Eagle Regiment traveled to Onda and visited St. Mary’s, a church built in 1240. After their excursion to Onda, they attended Mass on Saturday night.


During the march to Plaça Major a Dutch band, Damiate Haarlem, asked Eagle Regiment to march with them. The two groups joined together and held an impromptu parade through the streets with Damiate Haarlem.

This final stage performance was in front of an audience of more than 3,000. The Dutch and Polis bands waited for Eagle Regiment to conclude their performance and they all marched back together. A marathon blocked their parade back, so for the next hour, they held had an impromptu concert in the streets, and a crowd of hundreds gathered around to listen.

On their last day in Spain, Eagle Regiment was invited to be the final band in a parade that started at 10:00 p.m. The students truly demonstrated all that is asked of them as Marianists, and they have set the standard for many others to follow.