Celebration of the Arts in Vicksburg

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Concert band members of the saxophone section perform during the 2015 Celebration of the Arts concert.

By Sue Moore

Imagine over 700 Vicksburg school kids massed on the bleachers and floor of the high school gym, playing and singing their hearts out for an audience of parents and friends.

Imagine it, then look for it at Vicksburg High School on April 20.

It’s part of a districtwide Celebration of the Arts, held just every two or three years; it takes a mountain of preparation time and logistics, said high school Band Director Ben Rosier.

If the music doesn’t get your heart thumping a little faster, then the sight of art work up and down the halls of the high school will make one stop in appreciation. There are some very talented artists growing up in the community as well as musicians.

The show will come together for the districtwide Celebration on the 20th, a Thursday, starting with a dance performance at 5 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center, ending with a collage concert at 7 p.m. in the gym. The event is led by Rosier and Ravenna Kahler, Choir Director Dusty Morris, film and video teacher Troy Smith and art teachers Krista Ragotzy and Andy Lindeman in the high school. Teachers of music and art in the grade schools also contribute with their student work on exhibition. They include music teachers Patty Heintzelman, Patty Stoll and Betsy Craig and art teachers Jake Biernacki, Whitney Bast and Anna Lacey. A dance performance will be followed by a video presentation at 5:30, and a tour of the many art displays in the hallways at 6 p.m.

At the concert, every group will play or sing one piece, then combine for a massed band and vocal presentation. The whole show moves like clockwork with never a down moment, Rosier said. He will have musicians from the six, seventh, eighth grade bands, the Concert Band, wind ensemble, and both jazz bands, the Early Dogs and Top Dogs.

Morris will showcase the Chamber Singers, the Chorale, Simply Men and the Treble Choir. Many hours of practice go into each group’s music presentation, proving that the fine arts are alive and well in the Vicksburg school district. These musicians are required to maintain high academic standards. Some students double in band, choir and art. Many of them have gone on to earn a place in their college bands and choirs, Rosier said.

It’s truly a Celebration of the Arts, one the parents and friends will not want to miss.

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Vicksburg band and choir members from all grades perform at the 2015 Celebration of the Arts.

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