A place for the arts at DHS


Dryden High School band member Caleb Sundin imparts some wisdom to a visiting Fine Arts student from Open Roads during Arts Day, Friday at DHS.
Photos by Michael Christianson

By Michael Christianson

Fine Arts students from Open Roads School took the opportunity this week to visit their future school and to see what the high school has to offer these talented kids.

This is the second Arts Day of the year for these students and this time students from Grades 6, 7 and 8 rotated from the music, drama and visual arts departments to get a better sense of the opportunities ahead of them.

In the visual arts they recreated Ted Harrison paintings, with the music students they learned methods and practiced, in the drama department they got to practice stage fighting.

“It’s really cool because we get to learn a bunch of stuff we wouldn’t get to at Open Roads and we get to learn it with other art students who are also passionate about the arts,” said Grade 8 student Kenzie Lancaster. “It’s really fun, we get to learn a bunch of different methods.”

The Open Roads students also practiced joint pieces that they will be performing with DHS students at the annual Music in Motion concert.

Julia Pareis is in Grade 6 and she says she’s always wanted to be an actor; on this day she was practicing her clarinet an instrument her mom plays.

She says she enjoyed learning from the high school students who were very helpful.

“They’re very kind,” said Pareis. “They’re helping me, they slowed down the tempo just so I could get the notes right and make sure they’re exquisite and perfect.”

While the students were practicing their fake fighting drama teacher Ted Mitchell said Arts Day gives the elementary school students a chance to gain some familiarity and ownership to the school and for his high school students it reminds them they are role models to the younger students.

“So in drama we have the focus of wanting to introduce them to skills that they don’t necessarily use in a day-to-day class that will broaden their horizons and give them some new things to experiment with when they’re acting,” said Mitchell. “So this time around we’re doing a workshop in stage fighting. Started off with some different games and activities to get their bodies warmed up. We have some students who participated in workshops in Winnipeg doing the instructing of the stage fighting; they’ve got a huge focus on safety but mostly looking to look real, consider where your audience is and have fun with it.”

Fine Arts students from Open Roads learn how to perform a convincing mock-punch in the drama studio.

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