PSAA Fosters Creativity
At Puget Sound Adventist Academy (PSAA) in Kirkland, Wash., fine arts programming has developed in inspiring and energizing ways this past school year. In the fall, director and instructor Craig Mohr initiated an exciting new music department offering, jazz band.
Fifteen brave and dedicated students met at the early hour of 7:10 a.m. and entered the big-band music world of the 1930s and 1940s. Cycling through the styles of swing, Latin and ballad, these musicians have wowed their audiences both locally and on tour with their exceptional performances.
Mohr has been so pleased by “their willingness to play solos and ability to play in various styles.” These solos require courage, and the changes in style take flexibility. Senior Selena Riston says, “The timings in jazz are much more complex, which made it a fun challenge.”
The jazz band demonstrated their learning brilliantly at PSAA’s annual spring music concert on May 24, 2017. Looking ahead to next year, the jazz band is projected to grow in size, skill and performance opportunities, including an adjudicated music festival.
The evening of May 24 also showcased the “Innovation” exhibition, featuring PSAA’s student artists and their collections from art class taught by Anika Zebron. Zebron’s course has led students through a survey of techniques, creating a fusion between traditional fine art and modern design. Students studied drawing, watercolor painting, modern plus pop art techniques and acrylic painting over the course of the year.
These students enrolled with diverse experience, and Zebron has been “so proud of their efforts. I was consistently amazed by their creativity, innovation and fearlessness in learning.” At the exhibition, the class was also thrilled to host PSAA’s first ever Pop Up Shop, with professional fine art prints available for purchase and to order. “It was almost surreal seeing prints of our art on display," says Emily Borg, a PSAA senior. "And it was humbling to realize that people were interested in buying it.”
PSAA believes in fostering educational exploration, growth and creativity in students. Fine arts programming provides a perfect arena for these goals to be met, and PSAA has much to offer and to celebrate.