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Spring youth showcases to take the stage this month


May 05, 2017

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As the academic year draws to a close, students at the Averitt Center for the Arts are preparing to show off their skills in their annual spring showcases.

 

The program will feature both solos and group performances from members of the Youth Ballet and the Statesboro Chamber Orchestra and Youth Strings, as well as the Statesboro Youth Chorale, who have been preparing diligently for their spring performances.

 

The recital requires immense planning and practice from all involved. For the music recital, community members like Jessica Orvis and James Glass have also volunteered their time to help out. Orvis, a Georgia Southern chemistry professor, will be playing second violin in the orchestra while Glass, music minister at Trinity Presbyterian Church, will play double bass.  

 

 “I will not turn away anybody who would be willing to help me out and I’m extremely grateful for all these people,” said Jonathan Aceto, youth strings director at the Averitt Center.

 

This year’s music showcase will also include four members of the Youth Chorale, who will be joining the orchestra for a few arias, directed by Dr. Tamara Watson Harper. These students are Xavier Deckard, Madison Patrick, Ami Palmer and Olivia Liggett, who is also a former violinist from the orchestra who transitioned to the chorale. The vocalists will perform four pieces of classical music, including selections by Mozart and Puccini.

 

The orchestra will perform both classical and modern pieces, including the overture from “ The Barber of Seville,” one of Aceto’s favorites, as well as a medley of themes from the James Bond films.

 

“It’s so exciting when everything does fall together and I’m hearing the dynamics and I’m hearing these beautiful melodies. Everybody had worked so hard. Each kid and each adult have worked so hard on their own and it all comes together during the concert,” Aceto said. “It actually sounds like the piece it’s supposed to sound like and that’s really exciting.”

 

In addition to music, dance students have also prepared a program to show off their hard work. The center offers many dance classes for patrons, including ballet, pointe and folk dance.

 

Directed by Jurjis Safonovs, the showcase will feature 50 dancers, who range in age from children to adults.  Students will perform both solo and group routines, and classical dance numbers, as well as pieces featuring tap and jazz choreography.

 

Ballet instructors place emphasis on Russian ballet technique and states that students begin to train for one hour a week as beginners, which then transitions into as many as eight classes per week as they advance in skill. 

 

“I closely monitored all students’ progress throughout the year, and selected the excerpts that will best showcase their skills and entertain our audience,” Safonovs said. “(My favorite thing is) seeing how students transform into ballet experts, how dance becomes a valuable part of their lives, and how it enriches their personalities.”

 

The music showcase will take place May 13 at 4 p.m., while the dance showcase will take place on May 20 at 7 p.m. Both shows will be held at the Emma Kelly Theatre.

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