Amidst showcases of their artistic abilities at the Coffee House, students reflected on how the divisions of the houses affect the art programs at Harvest. Jack Walsh, a junior, had a lot of helpful suggestions on how the arts could improve, stating Harvest could do with “Better equipment, more space, more teachers – more music teachers, really, for both sections: for upper house and lower house.” He also said that the music classes we do have are focused on certain specific kinds of music, which they tend to stay with, missing an opportunity for students to experience all of the others. Nathia Nicholas, a junior, said that she liked the arts at Harvest, but that there is always room for improvement.
Jeremy Herbert, a junior, echoed Jack’s opinion about the school taking steps to improve the arts program. He said, “I feel like we could have a little more instruments, maybe a few more kids who are a bit more interested in it.” He went on to reflect on the staff, saying, “We should have another teacher.”
Harvest presently has Orlando (Lower House piano), Shirlene (Dance), Colin (Guitar and Glee Club), Julissa (Lower House Art Therapy and Art Club), and Liana (Upper House Art). While there is a diversity of course offerings in the arts, the division of the Houses presents a limitation. There are no arts during school hours that apply to both houses, apart from dance and Glee Club. This may limit growth and development in the creative subjects over time.
Performers spent weeks preparing for their pieces. OC Mahoney, a junior, said that she and the other members of Glee Club had been getting ready for the show all quarter, practicing the same songs for many weeks. When asked how she felt about the concert, she was experiencing the same pre-show nerves as all of the other performers interviewed that night. “I’m extremely nervous, because I don’t like performing in front of people, or live audiences, and I have a solo. But I’m going to try my best anyway.”
Alejandro Lazaro, a sophomore, had similar recommendations, particularly for specific classes like guitar. He remarked, “I feel like everyone should start at the same level so that they don’t feel intimidated by other people that are more advanced. I think that would help other people feel more comfortable playing guitar. And therefore, they would get better.” It was interesting to hear so many different (yet connected) ideas about how the school succeeds and slacks when it comes to the arts.
Miles Cederquist, a junior, remarked that the turnout of the event was a lot of people, but not too much. He felt it was the perfect crowd. The ambience of the concert was true to what Harvest stands to be, a close-knit appreciative community.
Pretty much everyone interviewed that night had an obvious appreciation for the arts in general, and the arts at Harvest – even if there are things they think should be executed differently. Naeemah Miller, a junior, stated, “I feel like [the arts are] a good way to represent who you are without necessarily saying it, [to] create different pieces to show what you want to be, who you are, and what you want to become.” Jahlila Stamp, a junior, said that she actually liked the arts program at Harvest just the way it is, because it is diverse and creative.
Presently, Harvest has posted a job opening for a music teacher and is interviewing candidates. When students return in the fall, they can expect some changes to the music program.
Kate McClintock, the Tribune’s Resident Artist, first engaged in music at Harvest through Colin’s freshman year guitar class, where she sang and played “Forget You” by CeeLo Green, followed by a performance at the 2014-2015 Talent Show.