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SMC students ready to showcase art, music and dance skills

St. Mary’s College annual arts show has grown over the years; “When words are hard to find, art and music is a way for me to show how I’m feeling,” says student Owen Middleton

St. Mary’s College students from Grades 9 to 12 are looking forward to displaying their drawings, paintings, photography and digital media work at the school’s annual art show beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

The show will also include musical performances from the school’s beginner concert band, senior concert band, SMC’s rock band Crusade and performances by the school’s dance team.

For the students, visual arts, music and dance is a creative outlet and, for some, their career choice as they prepare to graduate from high school.

Grade 12 student Amelia DiCerbo plans to begin post-secondary studies in a four-year fashion design program at Toronto Metropolitan University in the fall.

DiCerbo told SooToday that her parents — SMC art teachers Adriano and Genevieve DiCerbo — have been a major source of inspiration and support for her both inside and outside the classroom.

Visual arts students will have their work on display along the wall south of the main office and in the school’s commons area.

Musical and dance performances will take place in the school’s auditorium.

“I’m a pretty structured person so I find that visual art is a way for me to let loose a little bit and express myself. I like schedules and structure to my day but inside I have a lot of good creative ideas and art allows me to experiment with new things,” said Grade 12 student Sophie Bernardo.

Grade 11 student Owen Middleton is involved with both visual arts and SMC rock band Crusade, his talents to be displayed both on the walls and on stage at the school during Thursday's show.

Middleton said he plans to go into music professionally.

“I’ve been playing guitar since I was six and it’s always been my dream to go into music. In visual arts I like painting with acrylics.”

“For me, visual arts and music is a way for me to express myself without using words. When words are hard to find, art and music is a way for me to show how I’m feeling and demonstrate emotions without speaking about it,” Middleton said.

Grade 11 student Maliah DeZordo’s passion is dance.

“I’ve been dancing since I was three years old and I started dancing competitively when I was seven. Here at St. Mary’s we have a dance team and a dance class and I’m co-captain of the dance team this year,” she said.

“We choreograph the dances ourselves, we go to competitions. It’s a way for us to work together.”

SMC dance students learn various forms of dance, including jazz, lyrical, contemporary and hip hop, DeZordo naming jazz as her favourite.

DeZordo also attends dance classes at the Sault’s Studio Dance Arts.

She named dancer Maddie Ziegler of Dance Moms and Studio Dance Arts instructor Tania Greco among her sources of inspiration. 

“In dancing you can express yourself without saying words. Whenever I have a bad day I can just go to the dance studio and just dance it out and put all my focus into that. It’s literally like a second home for me and a way to express myself,” DeZordo said.  

Admission to the annual SMC arts show is $10 at the door.

Admission is free to children 12 and under.

Proceeds from paid admission will go to Tumaini Afrika, a Sault-based non-registered group of volunteers dedicated to working with children and women in Kenya.

The annual SMC art show has grown over the years, beginning as a coffee house art show at the former St. Basil high school in 2002.

“I feel like everyone’s worked really hard,” said SMC art teacher Genevieve DiCerbo, reflecting on the body of work compiled by SMC students during the current school year.

“It takes a lot of time, dedication and patience. I had a large group of Grade 10s this year and a lot of them hadn’t taken Grade 9 art because of scheduling so they jumped right into Grade 10 art and a lot of them surprised themselves with what they can do.” 

Adriano DiCerbo, SMC’s lead teacher of the arts, said he sees some future professional artists within the school’s student body.

“Definitely. We see them grow from Grade 9 all the way to Grade 12. Their art grows. They grow as young people. Some of them choose the arts as their profession. Some of them choose other paths but find that their art helps them. That creativity finds a place in whatever work they do. If you have a creative individual on a team that can think divergently, a little bit outside the box, it really does help."


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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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