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Performing Arts Education at Dublin High – Preparing for College and Citizenship

May 5, 2010

James Sievers in “The Man Who Came to Dinner”

by Michelle McDonald (Dublin High School parent)

“Arts education not only enhances students’ understanding of the world around them, but it also broadens their perspective on traditional academics. The arts give us the creativity to express ourselves, while challenging our intellect. The arts integrate life and learning for all students and are integral in the development of the whole person.” -Dr. Terry Bergeson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington State

Dublin High School has a thriving performing arts community on its campus – dedicated and award-winning musicians and a growing drama department full of students with passion and talent.

Paul Everts, Dublin High School’s Music Director, said his students (approximately 125 in the various music programs and classes) are pursuing excellence through music education that is invaluable to their future college dreams.

“And that benefits the community and the campus,” Everts said. “Music education at Dublin High School supports the ‘Integrity in Action’ program. The goal is to prepare students to become respectful, responsible and disciplined citizens.”

Not to mention collaborative and passionate individuals.

Everts detailed a Dublin High School music scene that is diverse and impressive.

The Marching Band and Color Guard perform at football games and have earned high placements in regional competitions.

Dublin High Jazz Band Open House April 2010

by Michelle McDonald (Dublin High School parent)

The Jazz Band is among the most active groups on campus, performing at community events and functions, as well as regional jazz festivals.

The Concert Band, Choir and Winterguard groups have also won awards in competition and offer great opportunities for Dublin High School students to pursue music education at the highest level.

“Band offers a chance in the school day to engage different parts of your brain than you would in math or history class,” said senior Kevin Cappa, a four-year member of the Dublin High School music program. “You are always aware and always thinking, but it is a peaceful kind of thought and focus. There is an immediate feedback in your performance as you listen to your music and what you are creating.”

Senior James Sievers is the president of the Dublin High School Drama Club. He has participated in productions since his freshman year.

Sievers said he has seen the drama productions grow and improve under the direction of Dublin High School Drama teacher Bryant Hoex. The department opens its auditions to any Dublin High School student wishing to participate and a range of students have, from members of the school’s athletic teams to student-body leaders, from first-time thespians, to experienced drama department members.

“My very first high school play, I was drafted over the summer before freshman year to join a cast of eight for ‘The Odd Couple’,” Sievers said. “Twelve Dublin High plays later, ‘The Man Who Came to Dinner’ consisted of a cast and crew of over thirty-five kids. After four years the program has both growth within itself as well as across the campus.  We now have larger audiences, greater participation, and higher quality shows.”

Sievers said the Drama department as offered students “a unique opportunity” to participate in campus life.

“While working on a play, you get to work with your peers while experiencing the world through your characters’ eyes.  It gives you a broadened perspective on life as a whole, as well as provides nice variety in your weekly activities,” Sievers said. “Some students on campus who would have never expected to enjoy watching a play have shown up to support a friend in the cast and been incredibly surprised by the entertainment value we offer.”

Many of the school’s drama participants feel like their drama peers are a ‘second family’, a product of the time they’ve spent together working toward a common goal.

Much Ado About Nothing Cast Members Ursula and Antonio

Much Ado About Nothing Cast Members Ursula and Antonio

“This is a place where you can make and maintain lasting friendships, constantly learn new things about yourself and the theatre, all while having lots of fun,” Sievers said. “Some of my closest friends are those who I have been acting with for four years, and some even for six years.  The experience of being in a play is not over after closing night; memories, friends, and jokes all last far beyond the performances I have yet to find a student who regrets their experiences with the Dublin High Drama Club.”  Sievers said that his involved in the performing arts program at Dublin High School has given him an “arsenal of life skills”.

“You learn how to plan out a large project and to work with others toward a common goal is crucial to preparing for future success,” Sievers said. “Things do not always go the way any one person could anticipate them to, and this department gives students the chance to learn how to deal with difficult scenes, complicated sets, and puzzling problems. Many of the administrative duties fall to the students.  They learn first hand how to manage a production as well as guide and aid their peers.

“Personally, I have gained many transferable skills that range from lighting design, handling high-pressure situations, and general cooperation with others, and I would not trade in my experience for anything.”

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