Friday night, October 24, saw a host of in-vested and appreciative family and friends descend on the West gym of WCHS to be treated to the second Performing Arts Night, showcasing talent from the music, drama and art departments of the high school.
Performances by the diverse grouping of artists, musicians and aspiring actors, directed by music teacher, Sandra Hall, and drama teacher, Dawn Mar-shall, was broken up by the comic relief of Master of Ceremony duet, Dryden Knull and Jill Rogers. Actually, if you were present, it sometimes was Dryden and sometimes Jill, and sometimes both, and some-times neither … you had to be there. At one point, Jill knocked Dryden out, and dragged him off the stage.
The evening got underway with a short excerpt from the drama group’s December 4-6 performance of ‘The Ash Girl’, followed by an impressive display of three musical numbers by the WCHS Jazz Band. The continuing rise of interest in jazz mu-sic among the youth was made clear both by the skill level displayed as well as the sheer enjoyment of the genre evident in the musicians.
Throughout the evening, the drama troupe performed a series of three ‘Mask Performances’, which are a character development exercise brought to performance level for the enjoyment of the crowd. Students craft their own masks, with some of the performances using words, and some silent, relying on the actor’s ability to convey their message through body movement and gesture.
Next to the plat-form was the over forty member Concert Choir, who performed to a cheer-ing crowd, the Jazz cats (a slimmed down troupe utilizing voices and a few scattered instruments) who entertained with a trio of songs, and the Concert Band performing ‘Jai Ho’, a percussion driven explosion of sound that only the dead could not feel.
The highlight of the evening was a fusion of the Concert Band playing ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides’, while the Drama 30 students per-formed an almost Alice in Wonderland crazy style drama pitting chess pieces against one another in realistic drama combat to the whim of their masters, the good and bad wizards. The drama escalates to the point that the chess pieces tire of being forced to keep battling each other, and turn against the cruel bad wizard in an epic battle to the death.
The evening concluded with a saxophone solo by Dennis Rusinak, accompanied by the WCHS Concert Band, and a final medley daring the audience to try and name all of the songs included in the piece. It was an entertain-ing evening, showcasing the hard work and capabilities of Wetaskiwin Comp High School’s staff and fine art students.
Pictured: The ‘Jazz Cats’ perform one of three musical numbers. Photo by Ken Matthias