By Sarah Wibell
The arts round out the school experience and encourage expression of self, ideas, and emotions. “Arts transcend all cultures and bring us all together,” said Karisa Seymour, Morgan County Middle School band director. For one night, the Morgan County K-12 students will showcase that message during the 2018 Arts Extravaganza on April 3 at 7 p.m. in the Morgan County High School Gymnasium.
Art, music, dance, chorus, and theater are all highlighted as soloists and ensembles take the stage on the gym floor. The color guard and step team will also participate in this prism concert, which will present both visual and performance art without pausing between the 22 performances in the hour-long event. “It’s seamless. When one event finishes, the lights will turn to another part of the stage in which the next performance will take place,” Seymour explained.
Seymour had the idea of creating the extravaganza several years ago after attending a conference in which a speaker discussed collaborative efforts: “This event doesn’t happen without everyone all working together – it takes a year of planning. Part of our educational philosophy in Morgan County is to have vertical alignment, in which all of the curriculums lines up across grade levels. So, this is a definite display of vertical alignment across the board. I just came back with the idea and said, ‘Let’s do this’.
“Staff and students across grade levels contribute their thoughts to make the event happen. I think it’s really cool, and it is fun to watch everyone perform together and get a chance to be part of something bigger than just their own part.” What is really special is the power and confidence youths receive from performing and showcasing their work. Seymour emphasized that the arts provide students a chance to explore their individuality, communicate with others, and excel in one or more creative endeavors.
The Morgan County Fine Arts Extravaganza is free and open to the public. Several sponsors fund the event to pay for professional sound and lighting. Any money left over will be used to support the new auditorium.
Seymour encourages everyone to attend: “We hope the community will come out and support us. This is the schools’ way of giving back through a presentation that highlights all of us working together to present a program that features our arts programs and the students.”