Organizing Japanese flower pots in the Flower Arrangements class during Arts Mania. (Sari Shocket’22/Media)
On Wednesday, February 5, the Columbus Academy Arts Department orchestrated the biennial event known as ArtsMania. With about 40 scheduled sessions, students were tasked with ranking 12 choices they would find interesting. The three-session format allowed participants to explore varied classes in a limited amount of time.
Columbus musician and performer Sharon Udoh (Counterfeit Madison) delivered this year’s keynote address, talking about her own journey to discover her musical abilities. She played a song of her own, “Light Switch,” on piano to open her speech and then discussed how she came to perform secular music after her church-based musical background. Udoh ended by encouraging students to continue to create, explore, and “engage” as Mrs. Sneeringer had previously said.
Each session for the morning was led by an artist or individual with experience in that field. Many are local artists. Sessions ranged from geocaching to rap to knitting to the ever-famous can-jo. Music, laughter, and talking filled the halls as high schoolers shared what they had learned with each other.
After the sessions, the high school filed down to the theater to witness a performance by Hashtag Comedy. The group took on the task of improvising a comic musical, accompanied by teacher Stefan Farrenkopf on piano. The resulting work, The Spicy Dog, had everyone in stitches.
The afternoon was finished off by the talent show, with everyone from freshmen to teachers sharing their abilities with the audience. Notable acts included Mr. and Mrs. Wong’s arrangement of Royals as a violin duet and student band Big Dave’s Putt-Putt Inferno. Many others shared their talents in a wonderful and unexpected way.
While Academy pushes students to participate in the arts as much as possible, ArtsMania gives full focus to the exploration of different mediums. To dedicate a full day to the arts is an opportunity for the Academy community to acknowledge the presence these skills have in our everyday lives.
It is truly a chance to engage.