Rahway celebrates the arts with works by students

RAHWAY, NJ — On Wednesday, April 12, the second Celebration of the Arts was held at the Performing Arts Center at Rahway High School. The evening was free and open to the public, and displayed the work of students from Rahway Public Schools.

“The Celebration of the Arts is a culmination of artwork that showcases our faculty and students,” Rahway High School Principal John Farinella told LocalSource in an interview at the event. “We have a tremendous appreciation of the arts in Rahway. The parents get a chance to experience it tonight. We have a formal concert and improvisational readings. We have the best arts program in the country with individual programs such as dance and instrumental music. The Performing Arts Center is a state-of-the-art facility. We’re very proud of Rahway’s rising stars, such as dancer Daphyne Lee, who was recently named Ms. Black New Jersey. We’re very proud of our students and staff; they’re second to none.”

As visitors entered the building, they saw student artwork featured in the first-floor hallway and lobby. Eighth-graders used drawing techniques to create pop art portfolios and self-guided assignments. They also used cardboard to create sculptures of everyday heroes. Eighth-grader Emily Lucas created a sculpture of Lexie Grey, of the television show “Grey’s Anatomy.” Seventh-graders learned to sew by hand and created stuffed monsters.

“I teach elementary school and I think this is a fantastic showcase of all the students,” teacher Jason Miklowcic told LocalSource in an interview at the event. “It’s great that the parents have a chance to see their work. We have an arts program unlike any other. It’s a really neat experience.”

Small ensembles from seventh- and eighth-graders performed musical selections. Rahway’s seventh-grade orchestra performed “The Best of Green Day” and the eighth-grade orchestra performed “Hunger Games.”

The Madison and Franklin Elementary Schools Select Chorus sang “My Maple Tree and Me,” and The Cleveland and Roosevelt Elementary Schools Select Chorus sang “This Ol’ Man.” Rahway’s seventh- and eighth-grade choir sang “Lean On Me” and Rahway High School Choir sang “Elijah Rock.”

The Rahway All City Elementary Band performed “Cheerleader,” and Rahway High School Band performed “Shaker Variants.” There was a jazz ensemble with various selections played in the cafeteria. The seventh-grade band performed “Dragon’s Lair,” and the eighth-grade band performed “Heathens.”

An improv presentation was presented by Rahway High School’s Advanced Theater Class in the Drama Classroom. The Madrigals, Rahway High School select choir, performed music of “Pentatonix.”

Just a week prior to the event, students from Rahway High School performed their spring production of “Big Fish.” Rising stars such as graduates Shanice Williams, who starred in the television performance of “The Wiz,” and Eric Roberson, musician, fueled Rahway students with a source of artistic inspiration.