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Arts are alive and well in our local schools

&uot;Hey, kids, let’s put on a show!&uot; If you have ever seen any of those wonderful old Rooney and Garland movies from the 30s, you probably remember that phrase.

Putting on some memorable shows: that’s what some local high school students have been doing this year.

Whether you are talking about Greenville High’s SGA Talent Show, the song-and-dance-filled production of &uot;Seven Brides for Seven Brothers&uot; by FDA or GHS’s &uot;60’s Mania&uot;, it was clear this spring there is a lot of talent in this little town of ours.

Every kid isn’t cut out to be an athlete. Some don’t shine academically. Yet every one of us needs a measure of success in our formative years; the arts just may be the key to that much-needed success, that sense of achievement for many of our young people.

I applaud drama instructors Nonie Taylor of FDA, Wendy Smith of GHS and

&uot;Miss&uot; Millie McDonald, who divides her time between both city high schools as a choral instructor, for the good job they are obviously doing.

Wendy told me it has been something of a struggle to rebuild a program that had, frankly, fallen on hard times in the last decade. As she pointed out, she is a young teacher and she’s still learning.

However, Wendy is certainly making progress – this year’s highly amusing production is a strong indication of that fact – and she is thrilled she is only losing a handful of seniors from the drama program (the same is true at FDA).

And both schools seem to have strong support from their administrations, which is so important to any program.

It will be hard for the FDA Players to top the success of this year’s production – but we suspect Taylor and Company will certainly try. Next year, I hope ill health will not keep her from attending whatever show the FDA students put on.

I am also very heartened by the continued success of the art department at my alma mater. Stacey Edwards is doing a marvelous job with her students and is truly carrying on the torch lit by our mutual mentor, Priscilla Davis.

Stacey has some wonderful ideas she is working to put into play in the coming school year. She wants to create a high school arts festival that includes Fort Dale students – a truly city-wide event to showcase the artistic talents of all our city’s youth.

&uot;I want the arts for our kids to be more inclusive – I want it to be for everyone, to see our schools working together,&uot; Stacey told me last week.

I’d like to see that, too. There is certainly enough talent to go around in this town.

It simply takes being willing to work together.

Hey, kids, let’s put on a show!

Angie Long is the lifestyles reporter for the Greenville Advocate

and can be reached at 383-9302, ext. 132 or via email at angie.long@greenvilleadvocate.com.