- Cherry Creek School District No. 5
CCSD Summer: Performing Arts Camp helps overcome COVID’s impact on the arts
Just two weeks after school got out for the summer, dozens of students who have a passion for performing converged on the Cherry Creek High School campus. Outside the Fine Arts building, aspiring actors rehearsed scenes from a variety of plays. Incoming freshmen Zoe Kurland and Georgia Thompson worked on a scene from “The Diviners.”
“It’s a scene where Buddy, one of the characters, is having a panic attack because it’s raining and he thinks he’s going to drown,” Kurland explained. She and Thompson are among the students who took part in the second annual CCHS Performing Arts Camp, which offered classes in acting, musical theater, choir and band to middle school and incoming high school students. The camp aligns with the district’s core values of Growth Mindset - developing our abilities through hard work and dedication to continuous improvement, and Engagement - encouraging curiosity and investment in learning so that students feel seen and valued. The camp was established last summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It started with us looking at all the experiences our kids missed out on during COVID and just trying to give them more opportunities to be part of the arts,” said Adam Cave, CCHS choir director. He said the camp offered morning and afternoon sessions to students who wanted to explore the performing arts or take their musical or theatrical talents to the next level.
“I’m really into acting, especially film, and I feel like this camp will really improve my acting,” Kurland said. “It’s really fun too and it’s a good way to meet new people.”
“I’m learning how to portray my character better and feel what the character is feeling and not anticipate anything that’s going to happen,” Georgia Thompson said. “We all know the story, but you can’t anticipate it, or it will ruin the story for the audience.”
While young actors worked on their craft outside the school, budding musicians were at work inside the building. Students who play musical instruments worked in groups – percussion, brass, woodwinds and so on – to improve their technique and learn new and challenging pieces of music for the end-of-camp performance. In other classrooms, vocalists did the same, striving to improve their breathing, tone and dynamics. Another group of performers who love to sing and act learned a condensed version of the musical “Mary Poppins” for their culminating performance.
The CCHS Performing Arts Camp is one of many sports and activities camps offered throughout the summer at high schools across the Cherry Creek School District. Get more information and register here.