AHS students treat public to ‘A Night of Cultural Arts’

ABERDEEN – Aberdeen High School’s fine arts students are taking inspiration borrowed in music and art, putting their own touch on it and lending it to the public for a night Monday Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. for “A Night of Cultural Arts” at the Elkin Theatre.

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNALREADY TO PERFORM – Trey Key, Jasona Buchanan, Zannarious Graham, James Word, Jaboris Thomas and Cameron Belle pose for a picture. The Aberdeen High School band members will be joined with several of their peers Monday during "A Night of Cultural Arts."

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNAL
READY TO PERFORM – Trey Key, Jasona Buchanan, Zannarious Graham, James Word, Jaboris Thomas and Cameron Belle pose for a picture. The Aberdeen High School band members will be joined with several of their peers Monday during “A Night of Cultural Arts.”

“We try to challenge the students by not doing the same old, same old year after year. If we don’t educate these kids and push them to surpass their potential then we’ve failed them. I’m proud these students have stepped outside of themselves to put in this dedication,” said band director Toni Reece.
The annual event doubles as a free concert and art exhibit where people can interact with their viewing and listening public.
“For my students, it makes them think deeper. They’ve got to go through the thought process of coming up with a title and verbalizing what they did and why they did it on. I’ve never had a time when someone didn’t ask if a certain student would sell their work,” said art teacher Valerie Brahan.
A total of 20 gifted art students will display a variety of subjects from abstract to realistic displayed in watercolor, chalk pastel, regular pencil and acrylic representations.
Monday’s event is a forerunner for the art department’s bigger show in early May.
While the lobby of the Elkin Theatre will brighten with artistic colors, the space inside the theatre itself will be filled with the sounds of vocals and instruments.
The jazz band will represent different genres of music from throughout the decades with the selections, “Zoot Suit Riot,” “I Can Love You Like That,” “Crazy Train,” “Dancing in the Street,” “Harlem Nocturne,” and “Orange Colored Sky,” which features the vocal talents of Aberdeen Elementary School music teacher Hope Maloney.
After the jazz band’s performance, students A.J. Parker, Trion Brown and Jacquavious Brown will perform an original composition before turning the stage over to the vocal ensemble, “Magic.”
With a more socially conscious setlist, the vocalists will sing their renditions of “Where is the Love,” “Someone Like You,” and “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.”
“After the tragedy at Sandy Hook, the students are trying to open their minds and be more aware. I think music is for everyone and it’s something the kids play musically or display in art that bring something to people’s awareness,” Reece said.
Gail Dalrymple will also help with the event by assisting with the presentation for the refreshments to follow after the musical performance.

About Ray Van Dusen

I've been with the Monroe Journal since Aug. 2009 as a staff writer, but took the role as news editor in late 2012. I'm always looking for interesting story ideas from around Monroe County. You can reach me via email at ray.vandusen@journalinc.com.