Friday, January 27, 2012

Building on a tradition of high quality community instruction in music, the Academy for the Arts, launched by the Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts, has expanded to include instruction in theatre, art, and dance.

“For decades, Fairmont State University has provided opportunities for the campus and the community to learn about the arts together through its many Town & Gown theatre productions and the former Community Music Program,” said Peter Lach, Dean of the School of Fine Arts. “We are pleased to be able to grow and increase our offerings to add instruction for the community and young people in other areas of the arts. The Academy strives to help beginners appreciate and train in the arts, and also gives exceptional students a place to shine and find opportunities for advanced study.”

The Academy for the Arts is dedicated to providing students with quality training and exposure to the arts. The academy utilizes FSU facilities and highly qualified instructors drawn from FSU faculty and area teachers. The Academy is a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts, using its standards as a base for its curriculum. The Academy for the Arts is integral to the University’s long standing identification with its community, in particular the cultural and social development of the region.

Classes for the spring semester in each of the six preparatory departments – creative writing, dance, theatre and music – will begin on Feb. 27. Classes will be offered on the main campus in Fairmont; music classes also will be available at the Gaston Caperton Center in Clarksburg. Classes in creative writing and world languages will be added this summer. Affordable classes are available at a variety of lengths and times. To view a class calendar and schedule and pricing, visit http://www.fairmontstate.edu/schooloffinearts/academy-arts or contact Geoffrey Steele, Assistant to the Dean of Fine Arts, at (304) 367-4144 or gsteele1@fairmontstate.edu.  

New to the Music Preparatory Department will be show choir and guitar ensemble classes. New opportunities in the Theatre Preparatory Department will be creative drama for those ages 6-9, improvisation classes for those ages 10-13 and acting for teens for those ages 13-18. New in the Visual Arts Preparatory Department will be open studio time for young artists in two age categories, one for those ages 5-8 and one for those ages 9-12. New in the Dance Preparatory Department will be classes in the following types of dance: folk, modern, beginning clogging and intermediate and advanced clogging.

The following will serve as faculty for the Academy: Leigh Anne Bolyard of Fairmont, voice, choir and piano; Jordan Hoffmaster of Fairmont, voice and piano; Kyung-Ae Kim of Korea, piano; Ashley Davis of Fairmont, voice and piano; John Morrison of Morgantown, piano and strings; Joyce Wang, strings and piano;  Robert Skidmore, strings; Cheryl Nelsi, clarinet; Jason Noland of Parkersburg, piano; Jennifer Stafford of Fairmont, piano and voice; Greg DeVito of Fairmont, piano and voice; Elisha Nestor of Morgantown, voice; Jeanna Carder of Grafton, voice; Aaron Hostutler of Hundred, voice and guitar; John Vaughan, guitar and guitar ensemble; Josh Lucas, guitar; John Schneider of Fairmont, brass; Michael Robinson of Fairmont, percussion; Geoffrey Steele of Salem, clogging; Anna Harsh of Wheeling, folk and modern dance; Sandy Ball of Fairmont, visual art; Katherine Thompson of Morgantown, theatre. More information about these instructors can be found on the Academy of the Arts web site.

Addie Elliott, the daughter of Rusty and Mary Jo Elliott, is a first-grader at Blackshere Elementary School. Rusty Elliott, who is also the FSU Athletic Director, said he sees firsthand the benefits of having children participate in these classes. His daughter takes piano instruction from Leigh Ann Bolyard.

“What a teacher!” he said. “Addie has so much fun. When it’s time to go to practice, she says, ‘Come on, Dad. We have to go! We have to go!’ She loves it. At Christmas time, she played ‘Jingle Bells’ for the whole family. She is having fun and she is learning.”

For more information about events of the School of Fine Arts, visit the Fine Arts Tatler: The Blog at http://fineartsfsu.wordpress.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/FSUfinearts.

About the photo: Piano instructor Leigh Anne Bolyard works with a student.