April 4, 2024

MDCA Fine Art Students to Showcase Talents at Upcoming Night of Stars

2.6 min read| Published On: April 4th, 2024|

By Cindy Peterson

MDCA Fine Art Students to Showcase Talents at Upcoming Night of Stars

2.6 min read| Published On: April 4th, 2024|

Mount Dora Christian Academy is dedicated to nurturing well-rounded individuals who are not only academically proficient but also equipped to make a positive impact on the world. As a result, the school places a strong emphasis on the arts, recognizing their role in fostering critical thinking, discipline, and creativity.

The focus on fine arts stems from the belief that students should be prepared to become “world changers,” impacting their communities in meaningful ways. The arts are seen as integral to this mission, providing students with opportunities to express themselves, collaborate with peers, and develop essential life skills.

“Our goal is to help foster creativity and encourage students to appreciate the artistic talents that God has given them,” Fine Arts Director Cheryl Abbate says. “Whether it’s through music, theater, or visual arts, our students are encouraged to explore their passions and share their gifts with others.”

With this in mind, the school is hosting a Night of Stars event on April 12, which will feature performances from musicians, actors, and visual artists. This free event will take place at the MDCA Auditorium from 7 to 9 p.m.

The event will serve as the spring showcase for the school’s art department, where students will show off pieces they have been working on for the semester, from watercolor and acrylics to digital art.

“One of the things that I tell my students is that art has this amazing component that is critical thinking and problem-solving,” instructor Maegan Benton says. “So as they’re working through the creative process, they come through all these stumbling blocks where maybe a material doesn’t behave the way they expected it to, and they have to figure it out. And that ability to problem solve transfers so much to other areas of their lives.”

The theatre department just wrapped up their latest production of Shrek the Musical Jr., where students gave a brilliant performance to a packed-out house.

“We were really happy with how it all turned out,” Cheryl says. “Theatre really teaches the kids a huge part of Christianity, which is to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It encourages empathy.”

Band is another aspect of the Fine Arts Department that will also be highlighted at the Night of Stars event. Currently, the school offers concert band, but will be taking on the new venture of adding marching band this fall.

“Band fosters discipline and mastery towards a finished product,” Director Banks Sewell says. “Whether it’s a show on a field, or a performance at a concert, or accompanying a theater play, or even just playing on the street. It’s working toward a finished product and that takes a lot of work.”

Banks went on to say that band teaches students the incredible power of making music together.

“It’s not just about playing the right notes; although that is definitely the starting point,” he says. “But It’s about creating an atmosphere and sharing a collective vision with your fellow musicians. Band fosters teamwork, creativity, and something bigger than yourself.”

In addition to growing band, the school hopes to add choir into the department this fall.

“Fine arts is just an important aspect of all kids,” Head of School Keith O’Neal says. “I think it unlocks imagination. It unlocks creativity, whether you’re talking about art or theater or music, choir, any of those. I think as you bring out creativity in students and you get them to dream, you are bringing out new ways of thinking, which then impacts other aspects of the academics.”

All of these departments are actively preparing for their big showcase at Night of Stars next Friday. For additional information on each department, visit https://www.mdcacademy.org/.

Photos provided by Mount Dora Christian Academy

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About the Author: Cindy Peterson

Originally from the small town of Berryville, Arkansas, Cindy has become a multimedia specialist in journalism, photography, videography, and video editing. She has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Central Arkansas and produces Style Magazine's Sports Hub Podcast and the Healthy Living Podcast. She also produces for Beacon College’s Telly Award-winning PBS show, “A World of Difference.” When she isn’t working, Cindy loves traveling the National Parks with her husband , Ryan, and son, David, photographing wildlife.

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