High School Showcase shows off Chartiers Valley's diversity

Megan Guza
| Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Ten months of practice and preparation by more than 100 students culminated in a three-night showcase of performances and exhibits at Chartiers Valley High School last week.

The district's High School Showcase took place Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and treated audiences to dance and vocal performances, art exhibits and one-act plays.

“It's really diverse,” said CV performing arts teacher Cathy Jenkins, who coordinates the showcase. “It involves all the arts.”

The showcase began in 1985 as part of the jazz band's spring concert and included three performances by one class. The idea was born out of the physical education teacher's desire to start a dance class.

“Fourteen girls practicing on a wrestling mat,” Jenkins said. “That's how it started.”

The showcase has since grown into a three-night event, something that can be attributed to the rise and growth of the district's performing arts programs.

“It has really blossomed over the years,” said dance troupe member Alini Gropelli.

Support for the dancers is school-wide.

“Students are really proud of the girls,” said Austin Pilz, who runs lighting for the showcase. “Even kids who aren't part of dance really support them.”

Dance performances by the high school dance troupe, whose membership is by audition only, interspersed the rest of the performances. The troupe began practicing during the summer, and continued during their daily dances classes and after school. After so much practice, students were ready to perform.

“We're not nervous,” said troupe member Alina Gropelli, a senior. “We're just excited.”

In addition to the performance art, the showcase also included a student art gallery.

Each year, the showcase includes a dedication exhibit, Jenkins said, honoring a person or group of people. This year included portraits of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting and Maddox Derkosh, the child killed by wild dogs at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium earlier this year. The portraits also portray the various music artists used in the performances.

Jenkins said the event has something the public looks forward to each year.

“It's very much a community event,” she said. “We have a big turnout on all three nights.”

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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