Every year we showcase the very talented performing and visual arts department West Milford School District cultivates with an ALL District Arts Festival. In one evening we are sharing/displaying the talents of our musicians and artists in grades 5-12, the “sights and sounds” of West Milford. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic last year’s performance was cancelled. This year we are bringing back the All District Arts Festival.
Concerts are being performed live, outside, safely spaced, socially distanced in alignment with CDC guidelines and following outside event CDC protocols. The musicians performing are seeing their audience; they are feeling the passion that is put into the music. None of these things are attainable through listening to an mp3 or a virtual performance. Music allows us to connect with people; concerts allow us so connect with people intimately. And that’s what is so special: human connection. Bands and Choirs have the opportunity to give the audience their music the exact way they want it listened to and perceived, from start to finish.
We have started to rehearse for a scaled down All District Arts Festival this year on Thursday, April 29, with a rain date of Thursday, May 6. The performance piece of the festival, showcasing our district’s bands and choirs, will take place outside. Safety is the number one priority of this undertaking. It is so important that we make that much needed human connection with the students in our program and our community. The administration and our board of education is in full support of this event. West Milford’s Director of Education, Mr. Daniel Novak, has been our biggest advocate and has helped us realize this commitment to the arts.
Our visual arts department will be sharing a virtual “gallery” of our district’s artists and our talented Industrial Arts/TV Science students sharing their creative projects as well. The WMHS Honors Art students will be displaying their finished works in the hallways of West Milford High School and supervising a socially distanced walk through of their masterpieces.
With the expertise of Mr. Joseph Jordan, WMHS TV Science teacher, and his student crew, are planning to record the evening’s performance “live to tape” due to the number of people we can have physically attend per the Governor’s mandate for outside events. The finished performance will include performances of our other ensembles as well such as the WMHS Jazz Band, the WMHS Indoor Guard and Percussion Groups and highlights from our high school theatre department. This will be a digital portfolio of the many great offerings West Milford has for it’s performing arts students. A special keepsake to share with your families, friends and our wonderful West Milford community.
It’s been a challenge, but we are creating, playing and singing! West Milford is alive with the sound of music. Let’s reconnect as a community and celebrate the gift of music with these talented young students.
Eighth Grade Band Director
Macopin Middle School