An excited hush falls over the crowd as the house lights dim; the air is thick with anticipation as the curtains begin their slow rise. Throughout history, performing arts have always been a powerful expression of human emotion, and students from Eldorado Elementary were given the opportunity to express themselves onstage during the Drayton Valley Performing Arts Festival at the Eleanor Pickup Arts Centre.
The festival has been delighting audiences in Drayton Valley for almost 3 decades, with participants demonstrating their talents in piano, vocal, choir, band, instrumental and speech competitions.
Music teacher Tammy Flett says, “Eldorado Elementary has been a part of the festival since its inception. The festival provides a venue for our students to showcase their talents. It gives them the chance to work as a group to practice and polish their performance. It creates a great deal of pride for the students. It is also an opportunity for them to get feedback from the adjudicator, someone who is a specialist in their field. They love going to the festival and listening to students in other groups perform. They learn not only from their performance, but by watching others perform too”.
Tammy adds, “Working to prepare for the festival takes many weeks. The students learn about commitment to a group and how hard work pays off. So many skills are involved in getting ready for their performance. They need to learn to work as a team and listen to each other. In this day and age when so many people are feeling isolated, the kids feel community in this group”.
Inspired by the dedication and perseverance of Eldorado’s students and staff, our entire community is able to benefit from the joy and connection of sharing the performing arts.
Photo and article by: Ashley Gaehring