By Robin Hendricks, Lacee Getter, and Maddie Mason
Sopranos, altos, tenors and basses. Guitar strums and the flourish of a bow on the strings of a violin. Beats measured in the taps of a dancer’s sole, and the methodic swish of a paint covered brush on a blank canvas.
These are the arts at Dutch Fork.
“I believe that fine arts are essential to a healthy life, and I personally have benefited tremendously from the Dutch Fork arts program,” senior Paisley Suttlemyre said. “I try to get people as involved as possible in the arts because I see friendships and connections made through art programs that may not have happened otherwise.”
Dutch Fork offers diverse art programs that open up unique opportunities for hands on experience for participating students. There are programs such as dance, orchestra, band, chorus, drama and the fine arts.
There are different levels within the programs themselves for students who are exceptionally gifted and willing to go the extra mile to perfect their craft.
Senior Albert Green restarted the process of adjusting to a new orchestra and new songs when he was accepted into the masterclass orchestra at Dutch Fork, but said, “it was a fun experience overall and laid the base for the other stuff [he] would do.”
Much like orchestra with their masterclass, dance at Dutch Fork also has a group of students with noteworthy skills, The Dazzlers, the school’s dance team. They have to work harder, longer and with more vigor than any other dance students at the school.
“I just love [being a Dazzler]. Ms. Haynes is an amazing teacher and she’s very versatile,” senior Nesha Frierson said. “Everyone gets to learn something they have probably never done before.”
Junior Hannah Howell says that dancing is a creative outlet that brightens her mood.
“It helps me escape from my problems,” Hannah said. “When I feel sad or angry I just dance and it makes me feel better.”
The fine arts program features versatile classes that cover everything from the basics of design to sculpting, from photography to commercial design and so much more.
Some of these classes, such as 3D art, count as Advanced Placement credits. The AP exam at the end of the year requires students to show their portfolios of artwork they have completed over the semester to judges who will then decide if they have earned the credit.
Jaime Chason, who teaches Design Foundations and 2D Design, also sponsors the school’s new music club which meets Wednesdays after school. Here, students are free to express themselves musically to all who attend.
Paisley, a member of the music club, is glad for the opportunities she has had while in chorus and considers herself lucky to have participated in one of the many Dutch Fork art programs.
“Dutch Fork has the best arts program of any school that I’ve attended,” Paisley said. “I’ve formed relationships with teachers and peers that I am certain will last for years to come, and the experiences I’ve had are absolutely unforgettable.”