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State of the Arts

Educators have long recognized the value of music, art, drama and writing for students' creative development and academic success. Yet the arts remain squeezed by tight budgets and test-driven performance standards. This series highlights efforts to protect and promote school arts programs.

Celebrating senior singers with a final concert, virtually

Over 120 choral students in grades 9-12 will join voices in a virtual choir to celebrate the graduations of about 45 senior singers, in a prerecorded concert to be posted on the Rockford Choirs YouTube channel...

Creating art anywhere

A new reality of art lessons during the pandemic is the resource savviness required to make it work, technologically and material-wise...

A student’s poem of hope for a tough time

Tanith Frank, an eighth grader at North Rockford Middle School, sounds notes of courage and determination in her poem about getting through this challenging time, together...

The show might go on

Months of preparation and rehearsal suddenly seem for naught as school plays and musicals are postponed...

The Best of Jazz

Trumpeter Marcus Printup brought the jazzy notes of Duke Ellington to Byron Center High School recently, where he spent a full school day with the jazz band rehearsing classics...
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Looping through layers of sound with a cool new pedal

A looper pedal and related equipment for the high school orchestras were purchased through a grant from the Lowell Education Foundation...

A really big yellow chair gets new colors

Students in Tonya Woods’ independent study class will be decorating the 'Big Yellow Chair' for the village of Middleville throughout the month of March...

An explorer, a tropical island, a pineapple

The state-wide contest is in its eighth year...

WMCAT students earn high honors in art competition

Twenty-one GRPS students won 80 awards for photography and ceramics in the 2020 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards regional competition...

Dance power: helping girls ’empower themselves and be themselves’

EmpowHER ½ Hour meets once a week during recess to let young girls feel their strength through the joy of dance...

Musicians take on anything but classical

Forty-four students become immersed each morning in music styles ranging from bluegrass to alternative rock in the Anything But Classical Orchestra...

Artist speaks out against hate in competition

Four art students won top honors out of 127 competitors at the third-annual Cedar Springs High School Art Competition...

Students supplement learning with ballet, clay creatures & Billie Holiday

A grant-funded partnership between Brookside Elementary and the Salvation Army Kroc Center sees third, fourth and fifth grade students make a trek twice a week through their backyard for classes in ballet, clay and jazz...

Third graders learn to listen — with help from drums, other noisemakers

Students from schools throughout West Michigan get introduced to the big world of percussion instruments through presentations by Bill Vits, principal percussionist for the Grand Rapids Symphony...

‘Doing art well is what matters’

A young artist took home a national award and has pledged to put his winnings toward his family’s future home...

Creating a picture of community and kindness

Students’ drawings were incorporated by artist Mary Bent-Buist into a mural expressing a moving message: 'One kind word can change someone’s entire story'...
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