Winter Arts Showcase 2015
December 20th, 2015
On Thursday, December 17, 2015 members of Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids' Performing Arts Program descended upon Wealthy Theatre for our 4th annual Winter Arts Showcase. The evening began with an art reception featuring works from the Visual Arts Program in the lobby. Friends, family, and supporters enjoyed appetizers and some social time. The theatre doors opened, and the audience paraded into the auditorium for the concert portion of the evening.
First up, were the 6-8 year olds performing "Snowflakes, Snowflakes" and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." They even threw in some Whip and Nae Nae dancing for fun! Smiles abounded as the youngest members performed for the energetic crowd. Next, we had some small ensembles and solo performances including a middle schooler who showed off his skills on the trumpet. Fourth grader Amillianna Peters, who performed a solo as a first grader at our very first concert in 2012, returned to the stage for a jazzy rendition of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen."
Teens took over the stage for the next few numbers. It’s been great to see Club members who started in the program when they were younger continue to engage into their teen years. They put on a performance worthy of candles and blankets by the winter fire with Sam Smith’s "Lay Me Down."
The BGC Carolers of 2015, who a few weeks ago traveled all over town for 12 performances in one day including a TV spot on eightWest, came back for an encore performance of "Silent Night" which also brought the comfort of the holidays to the forefront.
Next up, 2015 Youth of the Year Chelsea Flemings grabbed the mic and brought us all to the verge of tears with a spoken word piece she composed in memory of a teen who was shot and killed this past summer. To bring some balance, four middle school boys brought the house down after that with a spirited rendition of Drake’s "Hold On, We’re Going Home." This portion of the program closed out with Chelsea Flemings and Jasmine Jackson performing the Black Lives Matter-inspired "Powerful" from the TV show Empire, with Director of Performing Arts Casey Stratton on keys and background vocals.
The final act of the show began with a moving tribute to Club Member Quemele Marshall who tragically lost his life in a car accident in July, performed by our 9-12 year olds. Wiz Khalifa’s "See You Again" was the perfect song to hold him in our hearts and minds. What came next was the teens joining the Junior Chorus for an inspired version of Adele’s "Hello" which had everyone singing their hearts out.
As we always do, a sing-along brought the night to a close as we brought everyone back to the auditorium and had the audience join us in singing "We Wish You A Merry Christmas," "Feliz Navidad," and "Jingle Bells." Performers had an after-party backstage where we celebrated our success with snacks and cookies. We went into the night with feelings of comfort and joy that brought the spirit of the holidays alive in everyone who attended. A magical evening, indeed.
What did the Club members have to say about the evening?
“It’s exciting to see people from other Clubs and do new things at the concert. I also love meeting wonderful new people.” – Taviona, Age 13
“You feel nervous but when you get comfortable it gets easier. I felt great when the audience clapped for us after our song.” – Jeriel, Age 13