Arts Are Thriving, but Students Want More

The arts at Northwood are thriving. The school offers more art options than ever, including music recording and a new drama class that will start the second trimester. However, some students feel that Northwood has lost the progress the art department has made over the past year.

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Students perform in the Flinner Auditorium during commencement weekend 2018.

Northwood currently has 8 visual art classes but only 4 performing art classes. Some students want more performing arts options. Sophomore Addie Castillo is highly involved in the arts program at Northwood and would like more drama and theater classes. “We seem to have lost some of our momentum from last year,” she said.

Even though we don’t have a wide variety of options, Ms. Carmichael, English and Drama teacher, said: “I’m really excited that in the year and the little bit that I’ve been here, we’ve been able to put on one great show and have another one in the running.” Ms. Carmichael has been doing a great job of working with what limited scheduling and free time students have to put on strong musicals. (See more about this year’s musical in Owen Pierce’s article: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee)

Mr. Mike Portal, a music teacher, also acknowledged the lack of performing arts at Northwood. “Last year, [Northwood] had some big headway with the performing arts, the drama program in particular. It felt like we got some momentum, especially through the lead of Ms. Carmichael, Ms. Sanford, and myself. This year, I think we took a step back mostly because of scheduling.”

And he’s not wrong. In fact, the number of students in the arts program did increase last year but was met with scheduling issues this year. However the interest isn’t lacking, if one were to visit Mr. Portal’s room, it is almost always full with students practicing or teaching each other.

Some students also wonder if the absence of the vocal program from last year will become permanent. With Ms. Doan gone from Northwood, there is no teacher to work with the students as a class. While there is the option for private lessons, many students prefer taking a class.

As someone who had been performing for the past 14 years, I’d like to see a little more added to the arts at Northwood. I dance outside of school and would be thrilled to see dance classes at Northwood.

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