Colleyville Heritage High School students exhibited the range and richness of their arts programs with a free campus-wide festival last week called Focus on the Arts, but the real emphasis was on the sense of community that creative expression brings.Theater and music students contributed scenes and songs from school musicals. Other performances included the band’s brass quartets, the Panther Chorale, Jazz Choir and the dance team.Visual art works were displayed and a video presentation included the artists talking about their creations.Gabby Cain, 17 and a senior, has been an art student at Colleyville Heritage for all four years.Last week, she helped mind the snack table at Focus on the Arts while keeping a good watch on her painting nearby, on display with others in the lobby outside the auditorium.“This is more of a hobby for me,” she said, adding that she plans to major in nursing in college. “But it’s a very big passion of mine. There’s the choir, there’s band students, and I do art.”Her brown and green study in oils had a soft, touchable quality, with landscape features that morphed into body parts.“I think of this as nature personified,” Cain said.The evening was sponsored by the Colleyville Heritage High School Music Honor Society. It has been the society’s yearlong project.Performing arts and video presentations shared the stage inside the auditorium for a 90-minute program.At least two dozen students from the cast of Hairspray, one of the school’s two musicals this year, performed the cheeky and sparkling “Big Doll House” number.More than 100 students took part in Focus on the Arts, according to a faculty source.Avery Callerman, a 16-year-old junior in the theater department, performed a stylish dramatic monologue that included a passage from The Lion in Winter.Callerman will compete for a national theater award next month in Nebraska.“I started acting in seventh grade,” he explained after his presentation was finished. “I took it as an elective, and just fell in love with it.”Callerman plans to major in theater in college.“The idea is to allow kids to have more of an artistic community instead of just their separate activities,” said Lauren Fisher, a choir director for three years at Heritage.Students said they were on board with that.“We can show what we do, all in one place,” Cain said.“I definitely have friends in all the other arts,” said Callerman. “We’re all very close-knit.”Callerman said he once considered joining the choir, “but I don’t think anyone wants to hear me sing,” he joked.
Shirley Jinkins, 817-390-7657 Twitter: @shirljinkins