Valparaiso community students spread Christmas cheer on the first night of “This Is Our Story”. The first night of Valparaiso Community Schools’ This Is Our Story Art Festival was a grand success in kicking off the two-day celebration.
On Monday night, the Valparaiso Community Schools showcased and performed their best artwork and musical performances from across the school district. Students from elementary to high school prepared for months on end to display their talent in front of their parents, families, friends, and fellow students. The excitement filled the air as choirs, orchestras, and bands filled with students of all ages performed for their loved ones.
An art show outside of the gymnasium showcased the artwork of talented students. The pieces ranged from portraits, sculptures, abstract, photo composition, realism, and more. There was something for everyone to enjoy.
A talented student from Northview Elementary School, third-grader Madelyn Pratt, explained how much she enjoys art and was happy to share her work with others.
“I’m very excited to show my art,” Pratt said. “My favorite part about drawing and coloring is that I can make it come to life. It makes me happy!”
The printed program for each performance featured a cover created by a student. This year, the winners to have their artwork showcased were freshman Bryn Solmos, and seniors Quentin Laughery and Lillian Maldia.
The community support for this event has been extraordinary, as it is a long-standing tradition.
Art teacher Gretchen Scott at Northview and Memorial Elementary Schools shared her thoughts on how great it was that the tradition of This Is Our Story resumed this year.
“To me, one of the most interesting and wonderful things about This Is Our Story is that it’s K-12. You can see the artwork of the kids in our district build through the years and also see how it works along with the music that’s played at this event,” Scott said. “This is a special display because last year we didn’t get to have one due to the COVID pandemic. It is wonderful that we can celebrate our students and that they can see their work hung up. It's wonderful they can see people coming out to appreciate it and honor them.”
Musical selections from this year’s event included holiday favorites such as Feliz Navidad, Fum, Fum, Fum, Jingle Bell Rock, and many more. The night concluded with holiday singalongs featuring Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Silver Bells and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. At the end of the performance, Santa arrived weaving through the crowd waving at all in attendance.
The holidays are all about family, friends, and togetherness, and what better way to celebrate than This Is Our Story. We cannot wait to see what the students and teachers have up their sleeves next for us all to enjoy.