Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Music, visual arts, drama talents on display at Quincy Arts Night

Staff Writer | April 23, 2024 4:16 PM

QUINCY — Music, drama, visual arts, even culinary arts were all on display Monday at Quincy High School at the district’s annual Arts Night. 

Quincy High School choir director Kylie Youngren said the program was designed to show what arts students have been doing – but also what arts do for the students, and why art is an important part of education. 

“The arts are important because it’s what makes us human. It helps teach collaborative problem-solving that students can use in a variety of areas, in and outside the arts,” Youngren said. “And we hope that – we know that – the arts are lifelong. It’s something that kids can continue participating in into adulthood, into old age, throughout their entire lives. And a lot of the adults you see tonight are living proof that the arts continue on (throughout life).” 

One of the adult volunteers at the drama club table said the arts provided her with practical help – she didn’t really understand math until she started playing music.

The Quincy High School and Quincy Middle School bands displayed their talents on the QHS Performing Arts Center stage; so did the QHS and QMS choirs and the elementary recorder ensemble. The transitional kindergarten students sang a song about making pizza along with the old classic about the eensy-weensy spider. The QHS drama club performed a scene from a recent production. 

The QHS lunchroom was filled with student artwork, papier-mache sculptures, watercolors and drawings in pencil and markers. Organizers set up a table for children and adults to make their own art. Students in and out of the QHS music program set up a few pianos and a rack of guitars to offer lessons to anyone who wanted to try.

Randy Garcia said not all that many people were willing to try the guitar, so he and his friend A.B. Arellano were just jamming out.

Arellano said he was looking for something to do; guitar seemed like fun, and QHS offered a class. 

“I took the class here at the high school first, and then I started watching videos,” he said. “I didn’t really have a hobby back then, and I (said), ‘You know what, I’ll try the guitar.’ And here I am.”

Garcia took the DIY approach, watching videos to teach himself the basics. Both play what they called Spanish romantic music, and Garcia said they’re thinking about starting their own band someday.

Youngren said the arts weren’t only works on paper, or singing or acting.

“Our culinary arts class provided the food for the evening. So another form of art on display,” she said.

A popular one, too. Culinary arts student Nathan Salas said the class spent all last week preparing fruit and vegetable trays, meatballs and different kinds of dessert. Most of it was gone within the hour – especially the ice cream sandwiches.

For Salas it was an entirely new experience.

“I’ve never cooked before,” he said. “It was a class I got randomly assigned to.”

He’s learned the proper way to hold a knife, he said, how to cook eggs and pasta – and how to cater for a big crowd.

“I’ve learned a lot,” he said.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com.

    Students from all over the Quincy School District displayed their artwork on Arts Night.

    The Quincy Middle School band plays a selection the instructor said they planned to play in the Junior Apple Blossom Parade.

    The Quincy High School choir performs during Arts Night.

    Transitional kindergarten students tell the story of the eensy-weensy spider at the Quincy School District’s Arts Night.