Fine Arts Hosts 10th Annual Showcase

Sixth graders from Oxford draw their own masterpieces during the visual arts workshop.

Sixth graders from Oxford draw their own masterpieces during the visual arts workshop.

Sofia Senesie, A & E Editor

The Fine Arts Department hosted elementary students from the surrounding districts in the annual Fine Arts Showcase in early January.

The purpose of the showcase is to get younger students interested in the arts starting in middle school, and then continuing on through their high school career.

Fine Arts consists of creative disciplines ranging from the visual arts, such as painting, ceramics and film design; to performing arts, like acting or performing in a live band or choir.

Students from the surrounding district schools in Washington Borough, Mansfield Township, Washington Township, Franklin Township and Oxford Township attended, as well as students from our middle school.

Putting on a show for the elementary students were students from the high school Concert and Marching bands, as well as Theatre Arts, Visual Arts, and Select Choir.  The middle school’s Concert Band, and Chorus students also served as leaders for the day.

Brass Castle Elementary School Music teacher Nicolas Rizzo said the showcase serves several purposes.

“The Fine Arts Showcase is a demonstration of the Warren Hills Fine Arts electives that incoming students are able to choose from,” he said.  “As an elementary music teacher, I bring my students to watch the great middle school and high school performances and presentations, but also so they can meet some of their future Warren Hills teachers.”

Memorial Elementary School teacher Catherine Birdsall agreed.

“This day allows them to see what they can learn and become a part of.  They see that it is not just our arts program at the school.  They look around and see the other schools and students that are involved,” she said. “The students love listening to all of the ensembles.  They especially love the marching band.  Each year they are amazed at how the sound completely surrounds them.  This year they were very excited to have learned a pep song.  They have been playing it non-stop.  It has created a competition on who can play it the fastest.”

Birdsall said the showcase also brings pleasure to the elementary school teachers to see how their past students have grown and continued their interest in art-related programs.

“The Fine Arts Showcase is one of my favorite days of the year.  I love seeing former students in their musical and art endeavors and accomplishments,” said Birdsall. “It’s amazing to see how far everyone has come.”

Rizzo concurred.

“I really enjoy saying hello to all of my former students,” said Rizzo, “and I enjoy watching my current students work with high school students in the afternoon breakout sessions.”

After all the performances, the elementary schools were broken off into groups to get a taste of what each art program offers.

For the visual arts workshop, elementary students not only drew some pictures, but they also showed off their own art to each other.

In the band’s workshop, the young musicians were placed in between high school students to play “Creature Feature” and “Feel it Still” together.

Choir sang their hearts out in their workshop with young singers singing the song, “Rest Not” and learning fun vocal exercises.

Young actors then acted out their own little skits with the students from the theatre program.

High schoolers said they found it a pleasure to work with the elementary students.

“I loved how excited they were about playing the different kinds of percussion instruments,” said sophomore Taryn Faccenda. “For example, one of the kids had never learned how to read sheet music and tried his best playing the marimba. It was adorable.”

Junior Marisa Parker, a select choir member and flutist, agreed.

“As someone very involved in and passionate about performing arts here at the high school, getting to share some of the fun we have and what they can expect from the programs we offer was truly special,” she said. “I think my favorite part was teaching the students in the second session Riff and then watching and listening to some of the kids walk off the stage and start jamming off on their own.”

Sixth graders from Oxford draw their own masterpieces during the visual arts workshop.