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St. John School of the Arts New Offerings Include Classes, Concerts, a Gala Fundraiser, and Opportunities for Guest Teaching Artists

The St. John School of the Arts is gearing up for another busy winter/spring season with free classes for adults and seniors, new classes in performance cheerleading for children, a vibrant concert series that begins Feb. 9, a gala fundraising event, and a new initiative to bring visiting artists to the school to teach.

Fourth graders at the Julius E. Sprauve School concentrate on learning new moves for the upcoming production of “Broadway Comes to St. John” on Jan. 27.

Classes for Adults

The St. John School of the Arts is offering free classes to adults in the community during the months of January and February.

On Mondays, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Shira Sofer is teaching Art Exploration for Adults, a mixed-media arts class. “The class aims to help you embrace the creative act as a journey in self-discovery,” said Sofer, “where your inner inspirations guide your hands.” The class runs through Jan. 29.

On Tuesdays, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Dawn Johnson is teaching Beading and Jewelry-Making.  Space is limited for this popular class, which continues through Jan. 30.

Beading and Jewelry Making is one of several courses now being offered free to adults. (Photo by Jeune’ Provost)

On Wednesdays, Jeune’ Provost is teaching Caribbean Movement from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The class is open to beginners as well as experienced dancers. “Come dance to vibrant music and learn how Afro-Caribbean people maintain and build on dance customs throughout time,” said Provost. The course continues through Jan. 31.

Starting on Sunday, Feb. 4, from 4 to 5 p.m., Raven Phillips will teach traditional Bamboula dance. The course will run through February 25.

Enrollment is ongoing. To sign up, visit the St. John School of the Arts website.

These sample four-week courses will continue if community members join and express an interest, according to Jeune’ Provost, SJSA’s executive director.

New Class For Children

In addition to the nearly 20 classes offered since September in its after-school program, SJSA is now offering two sections of new classes in Competitive and Performance Cheerleading. The curriculum includes traditional stunts, jumps, and dance routines with a focus on athleticism.

The classes are being taught by Banen Chaney who has 19 years of experience as a coach and judge on the high school all-star and college levels.

Banen Chaney is teaching two sections of Competitive and Performance Cheerleading. (Photo courtesy of St. John School of the Arts)

The two sections are held on Fridays: the 3:30 p.m. class is for preteens ages 11-13; the 4:30 p.m. session is for children ages 6-10.

Classes began on Jan. 12, but new students are still welcome to join.

New Program for Seniors

Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, St. John seniors will be offered workshops to make memory books. Lucinda Parsons, an experienced public school teacher, will collaborate with arts instructor Shira Sofer to lead seniors in recording life-changing historic events and Virgin Islands traditions through words and images.

Sis Frank Concert Series

The concert series named in honor of the SJSA’s co-founder begins Feb. 9 with a performance by Imani Winds, a twice Grammy-nominated woodwind quintet whose presence is featured in the classical music section of Washington’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Imani Winds will perform at the St. John School of the Arts on February 9. (Photo courtesy of Imani Winds)

The second concert on Feb. 23 features the Westerlies, a “genre-defying” brass quartet that mixes jazz, new classical, and Appalachian folk music.

On March 29, steelpan virtuoso Victor Provost (born and raised on St. John) will be joined once again by long-time collaborator, pianist Alex Brown. This unique concert will also feature trumpet player Etienne Charles.

The final performance of the series will be held on April 12 when Sphinx Virtuosi, a chamber orchestra, takes to the stage to present a concert of dynamic music composed chiefly by African American and Latin composers.

Series tickets are $175. Tickets for individual events are $50. They are available through the school’s website under the events tab. Samples of the performers’ music can also be found on links located on the school’s website.

Cocktail Hour With Quelbe Resurrection Added to St. John School of the Arts Fundraiser on Jan. 27

Tickets are still available for “Broadway Comes to St. John,” the annual St. John School of the Arts fundraiser that supports arts education for the island’s children.

Fourth graders at the Julius E. Sprauve School concentrate on learning new moves for the upcoming production of “Broadway Comes to St. John” on Jan. 27. (Source photo by Amy H. Roberts)

The school just added another reason to attend the gala “Angel Show” on Jan. 27. In addition to “The Missing Map” (an original production performed by the fourth graders of St. John), followed by dinner at one of Cruz Bay’s select restaurants, ticket holders will be treated to a cocktail hour with live music by Quelbe Resurrection.

Tickets are $250 and are available by clicking the Events tab on the school’s website or by calling the office at 340-779-4322.

For a peek at the children who are involved, click here.

Opportunities for Guest Teaching Artists

SJSA is launching an initiative to provide opportunities for artists who teach to bring their talents to the school. The idea is to broaden and diversify the range of arts available to the community of St. John while giving artists a chance to experience Virgin Islands culture. To learn more, click here.

For further information about any of these programs, call the St. John School of the Arts at 340-779-4322.




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