Art makes a difference in people’s lives as could be clearly seen during the March 26 meeting of the Elkin Board of Education.
Elementary principal Pam Colbert summed up the impact she has seen artistic endeavors make in the lives of her students as she congratulated Dylan Longworth one of several students recognized by the board for recent artistic achievements.
“Dylan and I have spent a lot of time together,” said Colbert.
“Since discovering music Dylan has made a lot better choices.”
Longworth was present as one of three Elkin students who were selected to sing in the Mars Hill University Festival Choir.
Marcus Orta and Isabella Brumfield joined Longworth and 350 other students as they were directed by a former conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during this prestigious state event.
The Chamber Singers also received recognition for receiving a superior rating during a state event.
At the Wake Forest Music Performance Adjudication members of the North Carolina Music Educators Association judge performances based on nationally recognized standards leading in ratings of Superior, Excellent, Average, Below Average, or Poor.
“Unlike other classes I have a variety of skill levels in one group,” said choral director Tonya Smith explaining how they must all work together to create more than a cohesive sound.
“They are judged on appearance, facial expression, how they move on and off the stage. These kids really learn to work together and support one another.”
Cooperative effort was evident in Elkin Middle School Beta Club’s Living Literature Team.
Lily Gambill, Emma Grace Martin, Emma Longworth, Bronwyn Sloop and Alison Wells returned from the State Convention with Second place after working together to bring to life a story of a family separated by the Berlin Wall.
Placing third in the Physical Education Exam Thomas McComb was able to answer a series of questions about a variety of activities with speed enviable to any athlete.
Students have not been the only ones challenged by the abilities of those around them.
High School art teacher Adam Beshears was proud that Honors art student Krista Bryant’s recent project was more impressive than his own.
“Everything that I have given her since I first had her in art class she has done it perfectly so I tried to stump her with this one,” explained Beshears of the etched ink work currently hanging in the gallery at the school board administrative office.
“This is a project that I did while I was a senior in college. I’ve run out of things to teach her.”
Bryant’s work can also currently be seen at Appalachian State University Reich College for Education as part of their 2017 Public School Partnership Art Display as the winner of the Foothills Arts Council Youth Art Expo.
Hanging alongside Bryant’s work at 202 West Spring Street in Elkin is the work of Margaret Freeman who impressed with another characteristic the art enhances.
“When she did this at first I thought [it would take] a while,” said Beshears of the multi-layered piece, “and it did but it’s the best I’ve seen in a while. It’s really, really good.”
Endurance was also exhibited by the youngest artists recognized by the board as pleasure and discomfort seemed to battle with Leyna Simmons and Elaina Brown as they stood before the room.
Elementary art teacher Jill Bellia guided Brown in describing the process students used to enhance a classroom story.
“We are very proud and thankful for the passion, energy and enthusiasm that our students possess,” declared superintendent Dr. Myra Cox.
“The Elkin City Schools’ tradition of excellence continues.”
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TBeanieTaylor.