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ARHS to celebrate the arts at inaugural MUSE Awards

(From left) ARHS student Jacob Legere, NSCC business student Brendan Stone and ARHS languages and fine arts department head Lesley Parliament-Taylor look over plans for the first MUSE Awards at Amherst Regional High School on June 10.
(From left) ARHS student Jacob Legere, NSCC business student Brendan Stone and ARHS languages and fine arts department head Lesley Parliament-Taylor look over plans for the first MUSE Awards at Amherst Regional High School on June 10. - Darrell Cole

Celebration at Amherst high school on June 10

AMHERST, N.S. —

A lot has been done to recognize the success of student athletes at Amherst Regional High School.

Now, a celebration is being planned to honour those who have excelled in the arts.

The inaugural MUSE Awards celebration is set for June 10 beginning in the school’s atrium and moving into the Susan Taylor Theatre.

“It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for several years and it’s been in the back of my head to do something,” Lesley Parliament-Taylor, department head of languages and fine arts at ARHS said. “I have attended the sports awards banquet and love the idea. I think we need to celebrate our youth more and we have some amazing artists and musicians at this school.”

Parliament-Taylor said there are many examples of ARHS grads going on to fine arts programs at some of the top schools in Canada, but nothing has been done to recognize this talent.

“We have great student athletes here at ARHS, but we have something to recognize them. I wanted to create something to be able to recognize the amazing talent in our school’s arts community.”

The event will start at 6 p.m. with soloists and duets in the atrium (or outside if weather co-operates). There will be displays of visual arts with the school’s art gallery open. Mounted art will be on display in the atrium, including work from immersion students and the visual arts classes from Grades 9 to 12.

The awards portion will take place in the theatre.

The event is open to the public.

Brendan Stone, a business student at the Nova Scotia Community College’s Amherst Learning Centre doing a work placement at the school, is helping organize the awards night. He said there will be a number of categories recognized from music, to dance, language arts and visual arts.

“We’re rewarding students who excel who otherwise might not get the recognition they deserve,” said Stone. “It’s sort of like the sports banquet, but it’s all about fine arts.”

Stone, who is training in event planning as part of his diploma from NSCC, said preparations have been coming along well thanks to the support of the committee.

Parliament-Taylor said she has been working with a committee of teachers including Sara Stull-White, Kelli Goldrich, Nathalie Riley, Steve Haley and Stephanie Mizuik as well as Stone to prepare for the celebration.

“We haven’t had an opportunity to do something like this in the past. We’ve done something like this on our own in our classrooms, but not in a public forum like this,” she said.

Jacob Legere, a graduating student as well as a musician and actor, will emcee the event. He will also do a musical performance while there will also be a poetry reading as well as dance and drama skits.

“It’s nice to see something like this take root,” Legere said. “Artists getting recognition I’d thought about before, but now that it’s happening it’s sort of why did it take this long for this to happen. It’s great to see that it is.”

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