JMU Orchestra discovery concert
In partnership with our Premiere Performance Partner, the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University, over 1,400 4th grade students from Harrisonburg City Public Schools and Rockingham County Public Schools attended a JMU Orchestra performance of The Conductor's Spellbook, music and story by Paul Dooley, illustrations by Tanner Porter. This piece tells a story about Tony Stradivarius through spoken story, visual images, and orchestral performance. It was an exciting and interactive concert experience that introduced students to music, orchestral instruments, and even conducting!
Photo credit: Tall + Small Photography
JMU Dance workshop
In partnership with our Premiere Performance Partner, the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University, 3rd graders from Rockingham County Public Schools attended a performance of the Virginia Repertory Dance Company on December 8, 2022. This pre-professional performing company is made up of selected JMU Dance majors who have a strong commitment to pursuing opportunities as performers, teachers, and choreographers after graduation.
Hosted by JMU Dance Program faculty, company dancers performed two modern choreographic works from their upcoming show and talked with the 3rd grade audience about elements of dance and movement to watch for during the performance. The students also had an opportunity to learn a short choreographed dance in their seat. The program shared how art, creative practice, dance and movement can be used in various and exciting ways.
Photo credit: Tall + Small Photography
World renowned musician, Balla Kouyaté spent time with middle school students at Thomas Harrison and Skyline Middle Schools and Fine Arts Academy students at Harrisonburg High School on November 9-11.
Originally from Mali, Kouyaté comes from an 800-year long family line of performers on the traditional Malian xylophone, or balafon. The first instrument of its kind, over 1000 years old, remains in his family, and is considered a UNESCO Artifact of Oral and Intangible History. During his three days in Harrisonburg City Public Schools, he provided energetic performances featuring traditional music of Mali, facilitated workshops, and led question and answer sessions for students.
Kouyaté has toured extensively in Africa and Europe and been a featured artist in more than 45 albums. In 2019, Kouyaté was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, the highest form of recognition for the folk and traditional arts by the United States government.
Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley is grateful to our premiere artist partner, Eastern Mennonite University Music Department who made this incredible collaboration possible. Enjoy the photos below from our partners and friends, Tall + Small Photography and Bob Adamek Photography.
Barefoot puppetS Residency
Barefoot Puppet Theater from Richmond, Virginia performed their original show Galapagos George 4 times for over 1,200 K-2 students from Rockingham County Public Schools on October 19-21, 2022 at Lehman Auditorium on the campus of Eastern Mennonite University.
Based on the true story of "Lonesome George," this show tells the tale of a truly one-on-a-kind tortoise from the Galapagos Islands who grows up among sea turtles, lizards, hungry goats, sea lions, and dancing birds with blue feet. Students and teachers raved about the creativity, artistry, and originality of the show while connecting to relevant classroom content featuring animals, habitat, history, and the environment. In addition to performing and teaching, the artist wrote the show, constructed the set, and made all the puppets.
Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley is proud to have partial support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts to ensure equitable access of the arts for the students of Rockingham County Public Schools. We're grateful to our premiere artist partner, Eastern Mennonite University Music Department, for use of Lehman Auditorium. Enjoy the photos below from our partners and friends of Tall + Small Photography.
In partnership with the James Madison University Furious Flower Poetry Center, 7th graders at Skyline Middle School engaged with international writer and poet, Malika Booker. Students participated in a poetry writing workshop and then explored storytelling about their favorite things, focusing on describing through metaphor and simile. Ms. Booker followed up the large presentation in individual classrooms to dig deeper with the students in artistic expression, character and story, and creative writing.
Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley is grateful to have the Furious Flower Poetry Center, the nation's first academic center for Black poetry, as one of our premiere artist partners.
We were thrilled to provide 3rd graders in Harrisonburg City Public Schools with an opportunity to participate with the Virginia Children's Theatre last week. Together with the Teacher Artists, students learned about the water cycle and states of matter through movement, storytelling, choreography, and music. What better way is there to learn about the water cycle and states of matter than to become a part of the water yourself?! We received excellent feedback from students and teachers, including these quotes:
Blending the arts with Virginia SOL concepts expand and extend learning in meaningful and new ways. Just look at how engaged they are!
JMU Forbes: Fiddlin w/ Stories
400+ 5th Grade Students from Harrisonburg and Rockingham Schools experienced Fiddlin w/ Stories at the JMU Forbes Center on April 19, 2022. Nationally acclaimed storyteller, narrator, instrumentalist, librettist and singer, Charlotte Blake Alston, shared poetry, stories, and music focused on the traditions and folklore of the African and African American traditions. Alston along with renowned jazz violinist, composer and arranger Diane Monroe, delighted the audience through engaged singing, clapping and storytelling.
On April 4, 5, 6 and 7th we welcomed TWO THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED AND THIRTY TWO K-2 students from 21 elementary schools in Rockingham County and Harrisonburg City Schools to the Harrisonburg High School Auditorium for the 14th edition of Tiny Tots. K-2 students engaged with superheroes, princesses, and many characters before entering our auditorium for a 45 minute concert with the Harrisonburg High School Symphonic Band. Students danced, sang, clapped to the music while also learning about all of the instruments on stage, high and low sounds, rhythm, and dynamics.
Synetic Theater, from Arlington, Virginia, sent actors Josh Lucas (Harrisonburg High School alumnus) and Irene Hamilton (Spotswood High School alumnus) to Harrisonburg to share The Miraculous Magical Balloon. Josh and Irene performed 6 different shows for over 1100 students sharing their show to incredible engagement, laughter, and awe! Josh and Irene also shared their acting stories with the Harrisonburg High School Fine Arts Academy.
Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley is proud to have partial support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts to ensure equitable access of the arts for the students of Harrisonburg City Schools.
450 6th and 7th grade students from Thomas Harrison Middle School attended a performance with Catapult at our Premiere Performance Partner Venue, The Forbes Center at James Madison University. An America’s Got Talent: Season 8 finalist, Catapult is the premier shadow dance company in the world. Every cinematic scene is a kaleidoscope of colorful storytelling and shadow silhouettes, animated by dancers behind a screen. With the arc of an arm, the point of a toe or the twist of a torso, the dancers stretch their bodies by magically transforming themselves from one shape into another. Students were in awe as they watched, gasped, laughed, and were amazed to watch stories come to life through creative movement.
Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley is grateful for our partnership with the Forbes Center at JMU, in our 7th season, as we continue to curate opportunities for students to experience quality art in a state of the art venue.
Catch up on all the Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley Recent Live Arts Experiences HERE!!