Concordia gifted students put on concert

Published 2:17 pm Saturday, December 15, 2007

VIDALIA — School isn’t just about academics.

The Gifted and Talented program in Concordia Parish schools is trying to develop a higher appreciation for the arts.

Carolyn Huffman and Fran Nolan work with visually talented students in the parish.

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Huffman works with the high school students while Nolan works with students in the range of second to eighth grade.

“Having this program gives these students a different way to express themselves based on their talent,” Nolan said.

The students do a variety of projects including creating their own paintings and drawings, and learning about famous artists from the past.

“(Nolan) sets things up and we draw them,” student Corey Williams said. “I learned drawing techniques. We learn how to draw still life.”

On the high school level, Huffman works with five students who also work on their own projects.

“I like to teach them how to make original compositions,” Huffman said. “It’s good for them to learn about different art mediums.”

The students play a variety of instruments which include piano, trumpet, drums, guitar and bass.

Others also use their vocal talent.

There is another side to the program though.

Benjy Huffman and Sylvia Johns-Ritchie work with musically talented students on the junior high and high school level.

Huffman said he lets them decide the type or style of music they play.

“It helps them enjoy it more,” Huffman said. “I like to emphasize performance.

Student Josh Long said Huffman has helped him fine tune his musical technique.

“(Huffman) is a big help,” Long said. “He knows how to work with people. I plan on pursuing a musical degree in college.”

On Dec. 3, the Concordia Parish Talented Program presented a Christmas musical performed by musically talented students in conjunction with artistic displays created by visually talented students.

Musically talented students who participated in the musical were Shelby Millican, Joshua Long, Garrett Lipsey, Anna Beth Baker, Giovanna Little, Malcolm Griggs, Jared Ensminger, Miranda Gonzales, Ross Lipsey, Austin Lipsey, Zack Coker and Brian Beard.

Artistically talented students who had artwork on display were Storm Cangemi, Corey Williams, Gracyn Nelson, Zachary Nelson, Devonte Demby, Brandon Allen, Amanda Moreno, Matthew Couie and Amilio Amezcua.

In addition to providing an enjoyable presentation, the district would like to expand the program.

If there are any questions about the talented program or participation guidelines, contact Mark Berry, talented coordinator or Mary Huhn, special populations supervisor.