CCHS art and music students got talent
May 15, 2016
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Cathedral Catholic High School held its annual music and arts show Wednesday night in the Guadalupe Center, where nearly 300 attendees observed more than 700 student submissions.
“I think it went very well,” Ms. Mary Declercq, a drawing and painting teacher, said. “We had a lot of parents and students turn out, and a lot of the parents were very impressed with the artwork. The faculty was very supportive and equally impressed with all the pieces we displayed.
“They were commenting on how talented the students are at our school.”
Students submitted an overwhelming variety of work. Foundations students were allowed to submit one piece each, and advanced placement students were given the option of showcasing multiple pieces.
The artwork that was chosen for observation included digital photos, paper mache animals, modular wood sculptures, contour line hand drawings, perspective room drawings, soap sculptures, painted surf boards, water color paintings and ceramic pieces.
“I think a lot of the individual digital photos were interesting because they tied in with the personal lives of the students,” Mrs. Marianne Goyette, a digital photography teacher, said. “For instance, there were students who lost loved ones and experienced big change and their work was emblematic and representative of what was going on in their lives at the time. It was a little bit more touchy.”
The arrangement of the artwork was time consuming, requiring all five visual arts teachers to put it together. The majority of the 3D artwork was situated on two tables that ran the lengths of the hallways, and the matted 2D artwork was stuck onto the walls with double-sided mounting tape.
“All the teachers set up for their classes, but as far as I went, my husband and I put over twenty-four hours into it,” Mrs. Goyette said. “We came over to Guadalupe Center on Saturday and worked until midnight after we volunteered for the wine tasting. Then we came back on Sunday and worked until one in the morning, and then we came back on Monday and worked until 10:30 at night just on one table.”
Visual arts teachers brought their students over to the set up during class on Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the show.
“I walked around so many times with my classes and on Wednesday night and every time I’d go in there, I’d notice something that I didn’t see before,” Mrs. Amanda Packer, a foundations teacher, said.
Guadalupe Center opened its doors to a small crowd in waiting at 5:30 p.m., and within 30 minutes, the room was filled with about a 100 people. Attendees were treated to tables piled with prosciutto and cheeses, cookies, turkey wraps, sodas and water amongst other snacks that were arranged by Special Events and Volunteer Coordinator Mrs. Susan Greeven.
“It was nice being in a more relaxed environment where we could just talk with the parents and students about being human,” Mrs. Goyette said.
Students who attended the event received extra credit in his or her visual arts classes, and parents were given the chance to speak with the visual arts teachers as the night continued. The flow of people attending the event steadily remained until the showcase ended at 7 p.m.
“I hope students were able to see a wide variety of art and the different classes they can go into in the coming years,” Ms. Kristin Brandeberry, a digital imaging teacher, said. “A lot of my students are foundations students, so it’s nice for them to see the different classes that are available within the [Visual and Performing Arts] program.”
As the VAPA program continues to expand, the annual art showcase has become more substantial over the years. According to AP Art Teacher Ms. Silvia Wiedmann, foundations in visual art and design became a mandatory class for freshmen three years ago, and because of this, the program that used to include more than 200 people has now doubled, which is why this year’s art show featured so many displays.
“This was my first year teaching at Cathedral,” Mrs. Packer said. “Compared to the high school that I was at last year, we didn’t have an end of the year showcase, so I was really excited to be able to participate in this.
“I am always continuously impressed with our students and their abilities, and it just blows me away that we can give them the tools and the knowledge, and what they come up with is just so impressive.”
Although the art showcase was a complete success this year, teachers have voiced their concerns over limited space and lighting in the halls of the Guadalupe Center.
“I would think it would be a good idea to find a new venue where we can spread out a little more because there were some areas in the hall that were dark due to poor lighting,” Mrs. Goyette said. “Maybe having the show inside the theater as opposed to the hallway would be a better idea.”
Immediately following the art showcase, Mr. Pat Robell, CCHS director of music ministry, Ms. Swift and other VAPA faculty set up a concert, which featured students from the orchestra, the band and schola, the musical arm of the school’s Campus Ministry.
“It was a nice, seamless transition to have visual and performing arts presented one after the other,” Ms. Wiedmann said.
Around 80 people attended the concert, and the audience occupied almost every seat. Students practiced for the concert in their respective classes, and students who won the songwriter contest performed his or her own songs much in the same way they performed in the Christmas concert.
“I was with the woodwinds,” CCHS student and performer Gabrielle Przybyszewski ’17 said. “I played the clarinet and some of the songs we played included the Star Wars theme, “Stand By Me,” “Washington Post March,” “Blazing Bones of the West,” Pirates of the Caribbean theme and “Amazing Grace.”
Some other songs that were performed during the concert included “Tuxedo Junction,” “Panis Angelicus,” Narnia theme, Harry Potter theme and the Incredibles theme. The entire ensemble of performers came together at the end of the event, performing “Amazing Grace”. The concert ended at 8:30 p.m.
“I played the violin during the concert,” CCHS student and performer Katharine McConville ’17 said. “I think the performance went fairly well. We all did the best we could do. In all, it was a great learning experience for everyone.”
The music and arts showcase was meant to instill a sense of pride in students over displaying artwork, and for parents to see the effort that was put into the artwork by the students.
“It’s nice to share with people because it changes lives,” Mrs. Goyette said. “You don’t know how your talent is going to affect people, and so I think in a way it’s one of God’s gifts. We need to allow those gifts to flourish and be out there in order to help make our world better.”