Vicksburg’s Celebration of the Arts

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Members of the jazz band entertain a gym full of parents and friends during the Celebration of the Arts at Vicksburg High School.

By Noni Heikes

If you wondered whether the Village had been abandoned, like some old episode of “The Twilight Zone”, the secret is out. I know where everybody was!

The entire community, and most of our cousins, were cozily gathered in the high school for the annual Celebration of the Arts.

The variety and level of talent manifested in this school system’s students and staff is truly beyond description, not to mention the logistics of trying to showcase it all in one grand evening.

Hallways were lined with two and three-dimensional art that showed both great originality and unexpected levels of technique. Video work (much of it having recently won awards) was being shown outside of the gym. And once every possible body had squeezed into the gym, the music began. Elementary choirs on stage for the first time sang with style and flair, string players, some so young that their feet dangled from their chairs, massed band numbers that made the rafters ring…. We are a community truly blessed by talent.

I am constantly impressed by the high level of performance exhibited by these young people. Simply getting a couple of fourth and fifth grade string players to sit still and refrain from sword-fighting with their bows seems a major accomplishment; this group went far beyond, playing in time and in tune, even to playing individual parts. A sixth grade choir able to sing harmony, well! Solos, ensembles, huge massed bands still sounding crisp and clear!

The finale number, featuring the musicians from all the schools (elementary choirs, young strings, middle school bands and choirs, high school bands and choirs and soloists) was an utter triumph. The logistics alone of massing so many student artists would appear insurmountable. Then the music began. And, as is consistently true with these groups, it became all about the music. The rich, full sound resonated through the entire space. Even the youngest audience members appeared to be transfixed. After the final note faded, the community roared its approval. No wonder there is such great support for the arts here.

If you were one of the lost, lonely souls wandering elsewhere in the village on Tuesday evening, I recommend you don’t miss this grand celebration next year.

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