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Murray Journal

Highland Rams come together to promote school arts

Jun 22, 2017 04:11PM ● By Natalie Mollinet

Highland High hosted Tartanfest, and just outside the school’s entrance, people got to practice their art with chalk. (Alise Orlandi/Highland Art Council Member)

By Natalie Mollinet | [email protected]

It’s no surprise that Highland High School’s art programs have blossomed over the years, with their successful fall musical, “Seussical The Musical” and both their theater and music department performing at the Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City. Because of their arts programs, the school puts on a free community event celebrating their arts called Tartanfest, a word play on t-ART-an-FEST. Thanks to the Highland Arts Council, they pulled off another successful event.

“I think this year was a real turning point, we had higher attendance than usual and the waffle truck was a great addition,” Katie Houston, Highland’s choir teacher and a member of the art council said. “U had students write a paper about their experience attending and I got hugely positive responses.”

Tartanfest is a collaboration of all the arts programs at Highland including welding, woodshop, photography, dance, choir, orchestra, theater jazz band, pottery and more. It’s not designed to be a fundraiser but Waffle Love did donate 10 percent of its profit back to the school. Many people went from room to room to either sit and listen to full programs while others got a piece of each program.

Students who participated worked for hours to get their performance or their works of art ready for the evening. Houston said she asked the music students she chose to prepare a short set of songs to perform, something like being at a café.

“We had contemporary music, classical music, musical theater and one original composition,” Houston said. “They performed at the entrance to the event near the waffle truck and next to the hands-on chalk art station.”

The Highland Arts Council worked hard this year to make sure that this Tartanfest was an experience that the attendees as well as the students wouldn’t forget. They were pleased with the turnout and thought that it boosted the student’s morale in their performances, showing students that the community cares about their programs and their success as performers and artists.

“We support pursuit of excellence in the fine arts—including dance, drama, instrumental music, choral music, visual arts, arts and crafts, ceramics, photography and literary arts,” the art’s council statement said. “We seek to promote shared understanding and appreciation, to bring community resources and supplemental funding forward, and to effectively make a difference for all students enrolled in arts programs at Highland.” 

“Tartanfest reminds people why they arts are such an important part of the lives of young people,” Houston said. “Watching kids light up as they perform leaves no doubt to the observer that these young people absolutely love what they are doing.”