Sometimes we forget how much talent surrounds us in this tight knit school community. We see faces walk by on the paths, interact with students in classes, advisory, at meals, and in the dorms, and just know them as regular kids. And then they step foot on the stage, the court, the ice, or the hill and a whole different set of talents are exposed. Whether it was Annie performing an original song at the Jazz/Rock Ensemble, Logan showcasing his growth as a vocalist at the choral concert, Cooper and the cast putting on a remarkable performance in the winter play, or countless students displaying their artwork at the Winter Art Show, the past week reminded us how talented our student body is, how passionate our arts faculty are, and how much this community values the intersection of the arts with academics, athletics, and afternoon program.
Unlike most athletic endeavors where individual and collective growth is on display every Wednesday and Saturday "game day", the arts culminate in singular end of term performances that positively disrupt the rhythm of the academic schedule, providing us powerful windows into the creative talents of our student body.
We love to see almost every Proctor student engaged in the arts each term, but this weekend brought to light more than just the educational value of the performing, industrial, 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 belting out Lynard Skynard during the Jazz/Rock performance last Saturday, the small but powerful Vocal Ensemble helping escape into the world of music in the Stone Chapel, or sitting in awe of Cooper's stamina and acting ability during The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the deep impact of the arts on the Proctor community has been on full display over the past week. Public performances are not easy, but they are liberating to the soul both for those on stage and for those lucky enough to bear witness.
Proctor's artists have received considerable recognition this winter. Michael Sun's '20 work was selected from the Scholastic Art Awards of New Hampshire to represent Proctor in a show in New York City, while ten students had their work earn top honors at the AVA Gallery's Best of New Hampshire High School Exhibit. And while we are incredibly proud of these students for the recognitions they have received, our focus is not on the result, but on the experiences and growth each undergos during the creative journey.
This process of risking failure, finding a passion, collaborating with peers, learning to appreciate delayed gratification, and sharing the learning that has taken place serves as the foundation for every program at Proctor, not just the arts. It is this process we celebrate this evening as the cast and crew of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time takes the stage one last time. As we circulate the artwork on display at the Winter Art Show, we are reminded to always be willing to uncover, refine, and share our talents with those around us. Thank you to each of the students and faculty who have helped facilitate this sharing over the past week.