Boaz High School was invited to compete for the first time in Arts Con at Northeast Alabama Community College. On Thursday, Oct. 26, 33 BHS students competed in various categories, but four students won awards.
Styles Waldrep won second in grammar and first in instrumental playing piano; Ethan Williams won second in instrumental playing his euphonium; Breanna Lacks won “Most Creative Drawing;” and Alexis Estes won “Most Skillful Drawing.” This created an opportunity to see a real college campus and meet college students who have similar interests. This also gave the students the opportunity to explore a real college campus and experience being a young adult on campus.
Teacher Alexa Casey found out about Arts Con from an email and then contacted Jeff Davis, BHS art teacher, about the event. Together they held auditions for students to decide who they would take. Arts Con only allows two students from each school to compete in certain categories such as music and vocals. BHS could bring as many students to compete in visual arts and writing as they wanted to.
BHS was the only school from Marshall County to compete and were very proud to take home the awards they won. Arts Con tries to include all of the fine arts in their competition. Students are able to compete in grammar, poetry, visual arts, music, vocals, fiction writing and improv. For most of these categories, students are given two and a half hours to come up with what they’ll be presenting to the judges, excluding music and improv.
Students competing in the music competition had to bring their own music, and artists had to bring their own media as well.
“It was fun. Some of the most fun I’ve had this year. If I could go again next year I would,” Waldrep says.
Waldrep, Williams and Lacks are all seniors this year, and Estes is a freshman. Estes has not taken any art classes at the high school yet.
“She has not even taken art yet, went and competed as a freshman and won,” Davis said.
With Waldrep wanting to go into nuclear engineering; Williams into diesel mechanics; and Lacks into graphic design, all of these students have bright futures ahead of them. While Estes still has three years to completely decide what she may go to school for, she is thinking about studying psychology.
“We’re really proud of them because even though only one wants to go into graphic design, they’re all just really talented in the arts. It’s not necessarily something they want to pursue as a career but it’s one of the talents they have. There has been a lot of people who have influenced them from Boaz in art and music to help them hone those skills. They’re a good representation that Boaz has a good arts program and the awesome things we have going on,” Casey said.
The Pirate Foundation funded the day for the students. The students said they are very thankful for both the foundation and their principal Christopher Hayes for giving them the opportunity to go.