When Cope ‘17, Jay ‘17, Carl ‘17, and Cros ‘17 began singing “A Prayer for the Children” during Sunday afternoon’s vocal music ensemble recital, it felt as though someone pressed the pause button on life. Their impassioned voices carried the words off the page and into the hearts of the seventy-five parents and community members in attendance. “Can you feel the hearts of the children? / Aching for home, for something of their very own / Reaching hands, with nothing to hold on to, / But hope for a better day a better day.”
The past three days of arts performances have provided a much needed opportunity to reflect on the richness the arts bring to the Proctor community. We experience this same feeling at the end of each term, and have shared our thoughts before on the educational value of taking arts courses. We love to see almost every Proctor student is engaged in the arts each term, but this weekend brought to light more than just the educational value of the performing and visual arts. It allowed us to see how the arts provide our students with a calm in the midst of their far too often stormy worlds.
Whether it was Dylan ‘19 singing a solo during the Jazz/Rock Concert and the Vocal Music Ensemble for the first time, K.Leigh ‘17 directing a powerful abridged version of the Laramie Project (an entirely student initiated and driven performance), or first year dancers like McKenzie ‘20 and Tori '20 taking the stage on Friday night, the power of the arts were in full effect this weekend. Public performances are not easy. But they are liberating to the soul.
For those who attended the Art Show and Dance performance Friday night, the Laramie Project and the Jazz/Rock Ensemble concert Saturday night, or the Vocal Music Ensemble concert Sunday afternoon, you saw the unique combination of nerves and pride that only the arts are able to elicit. (Be sure to check out Livestream replays of all the performances from the weekend HERE!)
We all needed this weekend before Fall Term Exams begin Monday morning. Watching students step into the spotlight, share their talents, take pride in their hard work, and risk vulnerability in pursuit of art is a centering experience. Thank you to all of the artists for putting your talents on display this weekend, and to all the faculty in the Art Department for committing your lives to helping pull out the best in each of your students.