Supporting the Performing Arts @ JAHS

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Supporting the Performing Arts @ JAHS

Jenna Keiffer, Staff Writer, Social Media Managment

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“[JAHS performing arts] could always use more support,” says Mr. Mays, JAHS musical and show choir director. “We want the students to be proud and appreciated.” Mayes believes that the performing arts programs at Jonathan Alder High School need more financial support. 

Currently, the funding situation between athletics and performing arts differ quite a bit. Most sports at JAHS require little to no extra spending on the students’ part, while groups like show choir are almost entirely self sufficient. “These kids have to pay for their costumes; their fees could range anywhere from $200-350,” says Mayes, in reference to show choir. 

 Miss Tinberg, director of JAHS drama club, shared with the Pioneer Press that a lot of people overlook licensing fees that the plays and musicals have to pay for each show when considering the cost of a production. “Licensing fees can cost up to $1000 per performance if it’s a bigger, more popular play. We raise this money primarily through ticket sales, as well as selling flowers, compliment cards, programs, etc,” she said. 

For the past two years, JAHS has ceased performing plays, musicals, and show choir performances during the school day for students. While this may increase This student/ school performance was a tradition years ago at the high school, so of course, several students, parents, and staff were upset when school day performances stopped.

Last year, when the decision was made by then principal Michael Aurin, he said, “It is nothing to do with not valuing those students it ends up being a major disruption to the day where kids either don’t come for the in school performance. I personally value all the time and effort and work our students put in. Just because logistical reasons are in the way doesn’t change my value for the programs. Everything the kids do outside of the school day is valued. I love band kids as much as I love the football players as much as I love musical or play kids as much as I love baseball kids. All of those are good outlets for our students. I understand why people disagree with the decision but we’re trying to limit disruptions as much as we can. It isn’t something that just happened this year, it’s been forming over the last few years. In the long run it is going to happen anyways.”

There seems to be no correlation between in-school performances and student ticket sales. Despite this, students are unhappy. Honour Lackey, who performs in Show Choir as well as in the past musicals, is upset with performances not being shown during the school day anymore. “[The musical and Show Choir] are very time consuming extracurriculars and we work really hard on both of them for months and it kind of sucks that the school can’t fully appreciate our work.” 

Regardless of the reasoning, Tinberg and Mayes have remained positive and put in the most effort in order to keep the performing arts programs at JAHS thriving. The cast list for the Winter play was released last week, and auditions for the musical, Happy Feet, will be held next week.

EDIT: The previous version of this article claimed that the school board made the decision to cease in-school performances, but that statement has been retracted. In actuality, Michael Aurin, former principal of JAHS, made that decision.

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