Donors and Dignitaries Celebrate the Grand Opening of the PAC

The members of Bella Voce regale the crowd at the PAC Grand Opening with the jazzy number "September in the Rain" under the direction of Mr. Robert Heyde.

The St. Catherine of Bologna Performing Arts Center (PAC) received a proper opening celebration Thursday, Sept. 30. Those whose generosity made the state-of-the-art performing arts center a reality toured the new building and watched a showcase featuring our performing arts programs. 

Throughout the evening, attendees explored the 20,000-square foot building which houses NDP's instrumental musical education classrooms, and choir, dance, drama and digital video studios. 

More than 100 donors and civic leaders attended the grand opening including Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega and Dody Pitre of The Pitre Family Foundation. 

Guests were wowed as they were interviewed by NDP Live! student anchors on the set of our professional grade recording studio. Parents had fun taking a turn in front of the camera, while enjoying the chance to share what the arts mean to them. 

Choir, jazz ensemble, guitar orchestra, drama and dance students performed for the guests in an intimate setting displaying the immensely talented students at NDP. Guests witnessed first-hand how the PAC is enriching the high school experience of our highly creative students. 

Prior to the performing arts showcase, NDP Chaplain, Fr. Kurt Perera, performed the official blessing of the Pitre Family Theatre. “Peace be to this building and all who dwell in it,” Fr. Perera said as everyone joined in the prayer. 

"The theatre is really about the kids," Matt Rylski, Director of Enrollment and Family Engagement, said as he applauded NDP President Jill Platt for her dedication to the building project. “This is a big part of her vision. This building really stands here because of Jill’s hard work,” he said. 

Platt is committed to growing and expanding NDP and increasing all we have to offer our students. “Here we sit in the first academic building built at NDP since its inception,” Platt said. 

The PAC is the first part of a three-phase campus expansion campaign called Our Future in Focus: Vision 2020

Several talented students spoke about the importance of the PAC, the new opportunities it will provide for them and thanked the donors for their generosity. The purpose of this building is to help students find their passions. “Jill empowers students so they can find the Saint within themselves,” Rylski said. 

Two NDP students speak at the PAC Grand Opening

NDP seniors Ava Caviness, right, and Carlo Lanza thank donors and dignitaries for their support of the arts at Notre Dame Prep and their role in funding the St. Catherine of Bologna Performing Arts Center.

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart," Ava Caviness, NDP ’22, said to a room full of people who made the PAC a reality. “I hope, and I know, this new building is going to give students so many opportunities.”  

NDP senior Carlo Lanza said that Notre Dame Preparatory is unique because it truly invites students to try new things and find their passions. Lanza is a NDP Live! anchor, something he never dreamed he would do. “The opportunities that you guys have given to me, the underclassmen and future students, I can’t even put into words,” he said. 

Jazz Ensemble tenor sax player, Alyssa Wood, said having the PAC means that arts students finally have a true, physical presence at NDP. “To some it may just seem like a strange space, but it means so much more to us,” she said. 

If you are interested in giving and helping to continue to grow opportunities for our NDP Saints, click here.