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Gilpin County School showcases its artists and musicians

Secondary School Spring Art and Music Festival

By Patty Unruh

Gilpin County middle and high school students presented the 2017 Spring Art and Music Festival on Wednesday, May 3, treating family members and friends to beauty for the eyes and ears.

Patrons enjoyed a display by art instructor Curt Halsted’s students. The young people had turned the atrium and hallways into a gallery with sculptures ranging from functional to whimsical and paintings both realistic and abstract.

Music director Chris Waterbury directed the singers and instrumentalists and provided keyboard accompaniment. The middle school band began the program with “Highlights from The Star Wars Saga.” The young musicians struggled a bit with this technically tough piece, but it’s always good to be challenged. This was followed by the easier, dramatic “Sabre Dance,” which featured the violins and percussion to good advantage. The band’s third piece was another challenging Star Wars offering, “The Force Awakens.” They concluded with “The Final Countdown,” an older pop tune by the Swedish rock band Europe. It was concert-ready and provided a solid finish.

Violist Bobbie Hill provided additional coaching and off-stage support during the program.

The band was comprised of Madison Altman, Gabriel Bergeson, Blake Boulter, Jacob Bryant, Noah Bryant, Hannah Donaldson, Brianna Godwin, Nathan Harper, Stephen King, Kaeden LaFone, Nolan Lindberg, Hannah Lozano, Deven Moore, Caleb Murphy, Katelyne O’Sullivan, Kennedy Perez, Brier-Rose Randall, and Sasha Sonsino.

The middle school choir was up next and did a fine job on their set, beginning with “Mercy” by Shawn Mendes, a love song with somewhat fierce lyrics: “Won’t you please have mercy, mercy on my heart? Consuming all the air inside my lungs, ripping all the skin from off my bones, I’m prepared to sacrifice my life …”

The emotional intensity of “Mercy” was followed by a good contrast in the flowing, reflective “Song of the River” and the bouncy “Fireflies” by Owl City, a song about insomnia, fireflies, and summer built around a “boppy” synthesized line. Another pop love song, “Million Reasons” concluded the choir’s portion of the program.

The choir included Olivia Ball, Morgaine Chambers, Destaney Garcia, Delaney Grant, Hannah Lozano, Katelyne O’Sullivan, Miranda Phovemire, Elizabeth Price, Brier-Rose Randall, Samantha Rust, Andrew Seliceo, Haley Stundon, Kendra Wenholz, and Halle Yocom.

The high school band opened following intermission with “Stitches,” “Stubborn Love,” and “In the Name of Love,” featuring Aidan Freeman on guitar and strong lead vocals. Lilia Silverman on guitar and vocals, Nicole Adams on cello, and Logan Prewitt on drums rounded out the ensemble. Nicole provided a classical interlude with Bach’s “Suite #1,” and the band’s set ended with the question, “All the lonely people, where do they all come from?” from the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby.”

The high school choir demonstrated good pitch, blend, and balance among its five members: Brekken Billman, Kian Lamer, Lindsy Cope, Hailey Hunt, and Joyce Jewell. They began with “This is Gospel” by American rock band Panic! at the Disco, followed by the pensive “How to Save a Life” by The Fray. “H.O.L.Y.,” by Florida Georgia Line, spoke of a romantic love akin to worship. “You’re an angel … you’re the riverbank where I was baptized … you’re holy, holy, holy.” Church organ accompaniment enhanced the feeling of idolization.

The evening concluded on a positive note with Smash Mouth’s toe-tapping “All Star,” featuring Brekken Billman on a little air harmonica.

“You’ll never know if you don’t go, you’ll never shine if you don’t glow.”

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