Arts Alive at New Heights Middle School

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By Gary Phillips

The gym at New Heights Middle School was packed to capacity as the school presented its second annual “Arts Alive” event. The school band and chorus performed several numbers and visual artworks were also on display in the gym.
Principal Larry Stinson welcomed the crowd.
“I have always felt that the arts programs need to be a part of student’s lives,” he said. “I can’t say enough about what these young people have done.”
The band started the evening with several selections, led first by Chad Johnson then Geoffrey Mack. After their performance the musicians filed out of the gym and most returned to take their place in the chorus.
Between musical numbers students went to the microphone to give a brief history of various artists or art styles.
The featured speaker of the night was Tony Adams, a Jefferson native who now makes his living as a professional musician. He said he always held onto his dream that started in Jefferson.
“I didn’t always use music to make a living. I’ve been in the Navy. I’ve had other jobs. But no matter what, I always kept music with me and it was because of things I learned at your age,” he said. “Arts are alive here and it’s just incredible.”
Adams encouraged the parents to continue supporting their children in the arts.
“The thing that makes music universal is that you can feel it, and I felt it here tonight. That’s what keeps music going forever,” he said. “I was privileged today to come and watch the rehearsal and this stuff doesn’t just happen automatically. It takes work.”
Adams then sang the Elton John hit “Your Song” with the chorus and Mack on the piano and Johnson on the bass guitar.
Mack said he loves working with the youngsters and seeing them develop as singers and musicians.
“This is so wonderful to be able to come and work with these children every day and stand in front of them and help them create music,” he said. “I also want to thank Mr. Stinson. He has been an amazing supporter of the arts ever since my first day here. He’s a great person to work under and a great leader.”
Stinson agreed that the students worked hard to prepare for their performances.
“What you’ve seen here tonight is a case study in discipline. These kids are well disciplined. They do what they’re told. They work very hard with the dedication of these guys who stand before them every day,” he said. “They sky is the limit. They’ve just scratched the surface here.”