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Art is in the Air: And it’s Contagious!

Roslynn Besel, Reporter

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From ceramics to drama and orchestra, the students of Olympia High School have no shortage of opportunities to participate in the arts, but what the rest of the school sees and hears about is only a fraction of all that goes on within the schools visual and performing art programs.

OHS has a high ranking music department consisting of six bands, four orchestras and five choirs. Apart from their daily rehearsals and seasonal concerts, music students also participate in several festivals and contests throughout the school year. Earlier this year students had the opportunity to participate in the annual regional solo ensemble contest including senior Anna Skelley, a member of the Chamber and Symphonic Choirs who competed in the large ensemble category, “Chamber Choir competes every year and so do band and orchestra. It’s a really great opportunity for music students to get to perform and receive feedback.” Chamber Orchestra and Jazz Band also participated in the contest. Other music events the school attends include the SPSCC choir festival in march and the state solo ensemble contest, where Chamber Choir ranked 3rd place in 2018, a school record. The Chamber Orchestra will also be attending state this year.

While the music students have been singing and violining their way to victory, visual art students have been busy competing in numerous contests as well. Washington state has a variety of both local and statewide contests and art shows available for OHS students to submit their work to. According to senior Lily Hamilton, former art student and current art T.A., “There are a lot of talented art students here and a lot of them enter their art into some kind of contest or show. A popular one to do is Artswalk since it’s local and well known.” Aside from Artswalk, other art competitions held this year have included the annual Duck Stamp competition and the Literary Magazine cover competition, both of which have received artwork from OHS art students.

In the drama department students have been preparing for Thespian Festival, a theatre event where students can compete in different theatre related categories. Several students qualified for state this year including senior Molly Anders, whose been participating in the festival for three years and will be competing in the duo music number category. Anders said, “For duo we sing duets with someone in front of a judge and we all get ranked.” She went on to say, “It’s really fun to get to compete and meet other people interested in theatre.” Other categories in the contest include solo musical, group musical, monologues, duo scenes, group scenes and a variety of tech categories. The festival is in late march and held at Central Washington University in Ellensburg.

The art students of Olympia High School participate in several events outside of school from art shows to state music contests, most of which non-music students don’t even know are happening. But by getting informed of the many events occurring throughout the year, there are several opportunities for OHS students to attend and support their schools art programs.

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Art is in the Air: And it’s Contagious!