Arts Night at Bonny EagleMay 29, 2012
Many art exhibits and musical performances are happening all over Maine at this time of year. I am grateful to be invited to attend many of them and very happy that my schedule makes it possible. Recently, I traveled to MSAD#6, Bonny Eagle School District which is made up of Buxton, Hollis, LImington, Standish, and Frye Island. It is one of the largest school districts in the state.
I arrived at Bonny Eagle Middle School in the late afternoon where the K-12 Arts Night was being held. The school was filling up in the many rooms/locations where the performances were scheduled and artwork displayed. High School music teacher (and teacher leader from the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative) Jake Sturtevant met me at the door to the cafeteria where I had a chance to listen to a choral group sing and the jazz band play.
The best of the best artwork was in one of the gyms. Wall to wall exhibits of the highest caliber and students proudly showed their work to their family and friends. I ran into retired art teacher Sheila Clough who was there with her husband, their daughter and grandchildren. Both had artwork displayed. It was delightful to meet and visit with them.
I stopped in the music room to listen to individuals and small ensembles performing from the band and chorus. The room was packed with people of all ages, many standing since all the seats were taken.
My mouth dropped open when middle school Physical Education/Dance (and Maine Arts Assessment team leader) MaryEllen Schaper escorted me into a larger gym where the bleachers were packed. The 5th grade chorus and high school theater groups performed followed by the 5th grade all-district band made up of 350 students. WOW! I couldn’t imagine how difficult it is to bring that many students together from the different schools to perform. Music teacher Karina Babcock did an outstanding job conducting them. I was impressed with how she interwove what students were doing as they warmed up and the layers and complexity of learning the standards that takes place for the individual learner in order to contribute to the overall performance.
Congratulations to the entire Bonny Eagle visual and performing arts staff for a job well done! The students and entire community are fortunate to have a dedicated teaching staff of visual and performing arts teachers and an evening to celebrate and recognize the work of students!