Students perform to celebrate Freedom Week

Fifth-grade drama majors, including Alise Lewandowski, perform a skit for National Freedom Week, in which they learned about America’s history, culture, government, rights and constitution

ERICA BROUGH/Special to the Guardian
Published: Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 3:15 p.m.

Barely one month into the new school year, and students at Duval Fine Arts Academy are already flexing their artistic muscle and vowing audiences during a Black Box Theatre performance in celebration of Freedom Week.

In conjunction with September "Proud to be an American Month." Angela Terrell, fine arts facilitator at Duval Fine Arts Academy, said 4th and 5th grade students separately performed the musical, "Freedom Week Celebration," which emphasized history and government units of study.

At the 5th grade performance held last Thursday, Terrell welcomed the audience and thanked the parents and the community for supporting the students.

She gave an overview of the fine arts magnet program.

She said before choosing a major, or area of intensive study for the school year, the students have an opportunity to sample each of the majors which include dance theatre, drama, keyboard, world drumming, art, multi-media production, violin and track and field.

"It's in the majors, the students get to learn social studies, history, government and the diversity of America," Terrell said.

The musical opened with a rendition of "America the Beautiful," performed by violin teacher Craig Handley.

This was followed by a dramatic recital of "The Bill of Rights," performed by piano majors Quinesha Arthur, Christopher Green, Christian Perry, Deondre Scott, and Michael Tugerson.

Christopher and Deondre, on keyboard, played "This Land is Our Land."

Violin majors Jazlyn Akridge, Gerald Campbell, and Steven Davis played "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

This was followed by a violin duet between Steven and Handley playing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."

The drama majors performed "Unite," a skit that centered around the Constitutional Convention held on Sept. 1787 in Philadelphia and the contentious exchange between the delegates of the original 13 states as they ironed out their differences, finally adopting the document that would become the United States Constitution.

They recited the Preamble to the Constitution, and through song told about the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

The performers were Morgan Blocker, Omar Davis, James Hamilton, Tiekera Hankison, Tyree Harris, Antonio Henderson, Patricia Howard, Anika Jasper, Nyra Leonard, Alise Lewandoski, Dejuan Lyons, Molesha Perkins, and Niyin Smith.

Dwayne Williams, a student in the dance program, recited part of a speech delivered by President Barack Obama during his inauguration.

The musical ended with 3rd-grader Jalen Kelsey delivering a rousing rendition of "God Bless America."

"This is more than singing and dancing," said Terrell, after the performance.

"A lot of learning takes place in a very creative and unique way. It's lifelong learning."

Drama teacher Rhonda Wilson commended the students for a wonderful performance despite having only one-week for rehearsals.

"This musical is a teaching tool," said Wilson.

"They performed and also learned history and government."

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