The blending of arts and music will be the theme of Clatskanie Middle/High School’s (CMHS) Arts Department Art Show and Concerts on Saturday, January 29.
The art exhibit is open from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at CMHS, 471 Bel Air Drive in Clatskanie. The exhibition will feature works by approximately 50 students from high school art classes. The CMHS Jazz Band will play in the auditorium at 1 p.m. and the school choir will perform at 2:30 p.m. Events are free. Donations are welcome. Those present are asked to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
CMHS music and artistic director Jaime Erwin said the theme for the student music and arts event was “Welcome Back”.
“This will be our first event since January 2020,” she said.
Participating students include approximately 45 students in grades 9-12.
“The gig is the CMHS Jazz Band (7th through 12th) with about 17 members and our high school choir with nine members and some students are in both music and art,” she said.
Doors open for the art exhibition from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for people to enjoy at their leisure, according to Erwin.
“The art hangs on the walls in project groups,” she said. “The student’s name and grade level are displayed below.”
Planning the joint student event was difficult, according to Erwin.
“Musically speaking, it was tough last year,” she said. “The online choir wasn’t working, and we didn’t get the green light to sing until spring break, so we switched to Music Appreciation in October. We made the best of the situation! We have a lot learned and they (the students) had fun discovering world music and western decades.
Erwin said the school band is online for the first semester.
“Before closing, we were a gigging band, but I didn’t know when/if we would be allowed to play together,” she said. “There was talk about A and B days due to the number of cohorts, so I’m moving on to Jazz Combos. That way if I had three students we could still make great music together and if I had 20 kids we could still make great music together.
Erwin said the students learned jazz songs and how to improvise online, using a “band in the box” backing tracks from YouTube to practice on their own.
“Then the second half we were back in person,” she said. “We played outside, under the overhang of the entrance to the auditorium. Rain or shine! When it snowed, they had the day off. We were able to organize two outdoor concerts for our families at the end of the year.
For art classes, Erwin said the first semester was entirely online due to pandemic health and safety restrictions.
“So I printed photos of their work that they submitted and hung the show myself on movable signs outside,” Erwin said. “When we came back in person, the rules were still pretty strict, so the students helped hang the show a bit, but I ended up doing a lot. But it was their artwork this time and not just printed images. Once again, outdoor show on moving boards. This year, totally different! The students collaborated on a few different days to snag the show. It was really nice to see them all working together to make everything look great! »
Erwin said students are always excited to be back in school.
“They are thrilled to sing and play together again,” she said. “They are excited to be back in the art room creating art. Their enthusiasm shows.
According to Erwin, the COVID-19 pandemic has deflated many CMHS programs and most are rebuilding.
“It’s very true for art too,” she said. “The choir is small but mighty, the band learned a whole new art form, theater learned how to be movie stars, and the number of students taking art classes has tripled in the last year.”
Erin said there was one positive thing to take away from the joint art and group program.
“I want people to watch this event and see the resilience of these students,” she said. “At a time when it was so easy to sit still and let your creativity run free, these students pushed through anyway. Their voices are loud and they work hard. I hope people will see this event and be inspired.
For more information, call CMHS at 503-728-2146.