Fine Arts classes showcase student talents


In January, students recorded their band concert online.

With the hybrid schedule, what used to be disconnected voices and off-screen instruments has become rosined bows and harmonized horns since students have been coming back in-person for fine art classes. Now, as the school year concludes, the Fine Arts Department still has some more events hidden up their sleeves.


Annually, Ms. Stefanie Dahlstrom and Ms. Allison Molloy hold an art show for all of the art students in May. Last year’s show was digital, but this year, they are able to host an in-person gallery in the foyer, taking place from May 17-25. Both teachers agree that the art show is their favorite event of the year.

“It is a full celebration of what every art student has done,” Ms. Molloy said.

Along with the art show, the students will also be participating in end of the year competitions such as the Perspective Photo Student Exhibit and the Central Suburban League art show—both of which will be virtual this year.

While the art events have looked different this year, Ms. Dahlstrom and Ms. Molloy said this year was interesting and fun —no matter what the circumstances were.

“It’s been really fun when a student, in person or online, has that ‘aha’ moment, and things just start to click,” Ms. Dahlstrom said.

Ilana Kreger (11), an AP Portfolio student, loved this year, even with the challenges.

“Even though we were at home, I feel that we were still able to bounce ideas off of each other,” Kreger said.


After a year of endless laggy Zoom calls and first-time online events, the orchestras and bands are ready to show off their hard work for the end of the year.

Dr. Andrew Russell, the fine arts director, tells students to be ready for digital performances.
“Culminating events will include recording and video projects. Be on the lookout for several more releases from the VHHS music students,” Dr. Russell said.

One of the digital performances will be the senior solos. Due to COVID-19, the senior solos in the winter had to be canceled; however, they were moved to the spring place on May 12.

Kassandra Woolard (12), has been a part of orchestra throughout all four years of high school, and every year she looks forward to the senior solos.

“[The solos] are always so relaxing, and honestly very fun to watch… [You] sit there in awe and listen to people put their heart and soul into a piece,” Woolard said.

Like Woolard, Mr. Randy Sundell, the band director, is also looking forward to the senior solos, which will be streamed live.

“It will be our first live event of the year. We will also recognize the seniors that have received awards from us,” Mr. Sundell said.

This year has been very challenging for those in fine art classes. Woolard, now in the symphony orchestra, believes that this year has been the hardest out of every year.

“It is an interactive class… it is so hard to do this online,” she said.

Due to the difficulties that the fine arts classes, such as band and orchestra, encountered, Dr. Russell said that students supporting and bringing awareness to those classes is the best way to finish this year off strong.

“The best way to support the fine arts students at VHHS is to listen to their audio releases, watch any YouTube performances and most importantly tag and share them with everyone you know. The arts have taken a bit of a hit due to how different our classes have been this year, so we could use as much awareness as possible,” Dr. Russell said.


Along with band and orchestra, another fine arts class is choir. Students in choir have an event scheduled for May 22.

“The end of the year Cabaret and A Cappella Watch Party is our final event of the year. Students have been recording at home for all of the choir songs,” Mr. Jeremy Little, the choir teacher, said.
Songs included in the watch party come from classic movies such as “The Little Mermaid” and “Hercules”. Additionally, students were able to create videos with Disney and Broadway tunes to be included in the performance.

Love Notes and VoiceMale, the schools A Cappella groups, will also be making an appearance. They are working on videos for the following tunes: “Livin la Vida Loca,” “I Kissed a Girl,” “Bennie & the Jets,” and “Busted.”

Mr. Little is extremely excited for the Cabaret and A Capella Watch Party, especially after all of the hard work his students have put into their choir classes.

“It’ll be our one chance to all be together… and a reminder that choir is all about family and performing something well with people you like,” Mr. Little said.

Choir student Jianna Raven Buque (12) recalled how fun choir was this year, especially Cabaret.

“I met up with some friends, and we were able to perform live… it came out great, and I am excited for it to be shown,” Buque said.