Keep performance arts in schools

Published 7:00 am Friday, March 16, 2018

Performance arts have slowly dwindled over the past few decades. In the early 1900s, being accepted into a theatrical group was one of the highest honors a student could attain. Now, however, theater and music programs in schools seem to have fallen to the wayside.

But here, a love of the arts is alive and well. Thursday night, Nicholson Elementary held its second annual musical event. This year, the students danced, sang and recited lines from the classic story of “Cinderella.” It took months to prepare for the performance. Students met several times a week after school and occasionally on the weekend to practice. It took a lot of hard work and determination, but when the Nicholson students stepped onto the stage Thursday night, it was obvious all of that perseverance paid off.

Seeing those students on stage reminded me of participating in theater when I was in school.

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The excitement of being picked for a certain role, the long nights at home pacing back and forth memorizing lines, the laughs during practice with friends, and finally, the exhilaration of standing in front of the audience to present the final production. Those are experiences I will hold for life.

Participating in theatrical and musical programs gives children a sense of responsibility and dedication.

Having to memorize lines, or learn specific notes for a song, or perfect the steps to a dance all give children an obstacle to overcome.

Choreographer for Nicholson’s production “Cinderella” E. Jae James, said he is glad this production is so much more difficult than last year’s.

He said learning harder lines and songs will help prepare students for the difficulties of junior high, high school and eventually college.

Nicholson Elementary’s musical production of “Cinderella” will continue Friday at the Picayune School District Auditorium. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the show will begin at 6:30.