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Connecting with Connections

A closer look into the program that shaped many students
Summerville+Connections+High+School+Musical+Production+had+their+opening+night+on+Thursday+November+9.+The+show+runs+through+this+next+weekend%2C+with+shows+on+Friday%2C+Nov.+17+at+7+P.M.%2C+Saturday%2C+Nov.+18+matinee+at+2+P.M.+and+the+final+showing+at+7+P.M.+on+Saturday%2C+Nov.+18.+
Summerville Connection’s High School Musical Production had their opening night on Thursday November 9. The show runs through this next weekend, with shows on Friday, Nov. 17 at 7 P.M., Saturday, Nov. 18 matinee at 2 P.M. and the final showing at 7 P.M. on Saturday, Nov. 18.

The Connections Visual and Performing Arts program has been around for many years for students who want to pursue performing arts classes during their 7th to 12th grade years. However, it seems to not be talked about as often as in the past, and some are unaware of what the program is and what it can offer students.
Jeff Johnson, veteran Music teacher and leader of the Orange Crush Band, stated his own connection to the program.
“I’ve kind of always wanted to teach here, my wife graduated from here so even though I’m not from the area, this is the school where I’ve always wanted to teach,” said Mr. Johnson.
When asked what something he would like to change about the program is, he noted that after 7th and 8th grade, some kids do not take advantage of the program and stay in it.
“I think that it would be, kids who are in Connections, requiring them to be in Band or Choir or the plays or in dance, the whole purpose of this is as a Visual and Performing Art Academy, that’s what sets it aside from other programs in the school,” stated Mr. Johnson.
But what about changes that have already happened?
“It feels very different from last year because we have a lot of different teachers. We only have a few that are the same from last year, so the whole experience is very different. It doesn’t feel the same as last year, but it’s a good difference,” says Quin Igoe, an 8th grader in the Connections program.
Igoe, last year played lead Edwina in the musical, Dear Edwina, produced by the CVPAA, this was Igoe’s first lead role.
“It was pretty fun, it was the first time I had ever gotten the lead so it was a very different experience from what I’d done before, but I really liked it,” Igoe commented.
Connections student and senior, Natalie Harris, has been in Connections for five years and explained why she has enjoyed the program.

“I really enjoy all of the arts that I get to do. In a lot of other schools, you don’t get that many art electives. You either have to make a hard choice between one or the other or there just aren’t that many options. So here there’s a plethora of arts to choose from and I very much enjoy that.” 

— Natalie Harris


Grace Beniki, senior and Connections student, joined the Connections program her freshman year. When asked if she enjoyed being a part of CVPAA, she responded that she enjoys being able to do art.
“One hundred percent, because I mostly just focus on art and that’s my whole thing,” said Beniki.
When asked to consider what was different about taking art as a Connections student versus a Summerville student, she explained the tighter-knit community that Connections builds because of shared interests like theater or art.
“I feel like you can really connect with the other Connections kids and make friends who also relate to the creative thinking process.”
Connections plans to continue to do its job connecting youth to the arts through classes about music, dance, and theater.

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