Gifted students showcase artistic talents

  • Monday, July 2, 2012

Andy Parnow performs on the saxophone with the band/jazz ensemble in the main cafeteria during the STEP finale.


Over 400 students displayed their literary, musical, and visual talents in this year’s Berkeley County School District Special Talented Enrichment Program (STEP) Summer Fine Arts Camp Finale. A two-week summer camp designed to augment students’ creative talents in art, music, dance, and drama, STEP is a free program for students in rising grades 4 – 9. According to St. Stephen Elementary’s website, students who wish to participate in the program “must either audition before a jury composed of arts professionals (drama, music, and dance) or must submit a portfolio of artwork to a jury (visual arts).” The juries then test the students and choose those who have the greatest artistic potential. This year’s gifted students showcased their talents and creations on Thursday, June 21 at Goose Creek High School. Organized like a professional arts festival, the event had performances schedule around the school and acts often had overlapping times. With visual arts and creative writing on display in the school’s media center from 10:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., the STEP finale opened at 10:15 a.m. with a band/jazz ensemble in the main cafeteria. Swati Dadheech Linder of Marrington Middle School of the Arts led students through a number of jazz standards, including The Pink Panther Theme. She also led an African drumming ensemble as they performed traditional rhythms in the main cafeteria. Some events, like the Stinkin’ Garbage Trash Can Band’s performance in the chorus room, were so crowded that parents and relatives had to cram inside to catch a glimpse of the students. Other musical acts included performances by students on recorders, guitars, steel drums, and traditional orchestral instruments. In the auditorium lobby before the dances classes and chorus performed, students displayed and performed with their marionettes and puppets. The designs showed a variety of influences, including Vietnamese water puppetry, Australian black light puppetry, and Japanese Bunraku puppetry. Administrators and teachers thanked parents for coming out and encouraged students to pursue their talents beyond the program.


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