The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


A home for the arts

Center Grove stands as an institution for the performing arts
Javon Bundy
The JV Show Choir, Surround Sound, performs “Carmen Sandiego/Roam” at the 2023 Show Choir Fall Festival

Center Grove is home to many prestigious performing arts programs. Ranging from band, dance and color guard to show choir, theater and orchestra, the performing arts are important in more ways than people may realize.

Even outside the program, these activities provide students a way to express themselves in an artistic manner.

“My favorite part about dance is that it provides an outlet to express yourself,” junior dance team member Aubrey Ellis said. “Every person has a unique style and skill set to them, and I love that we are able to showcase our passion to the community.”

But these programs offer much more than personal expression. They offer diverse experiences for students to learn their skills. For band members, that can happen in the classroom or in competition.

“We do have three curricular concert bands: symphonic band, wind symphony and wind ensemble, in which it allows us to have students flourish in their own level of expertise,” band director Kevin Schuessler said. “When it comes to the fall semester, we’re generally focused on the marching band. When we get into the winter months, we actually expand into pep band, jazz band, and we have two levels of winter guard: CGCG which is the world level and highest level, and CGCG TOO, which is the training group for that and an indoor percussion program, which is also at the world level.”

Students also engage with and develop skills they may not have had before, especially for the leadership opportunities that are offered within the performing arts.

“Well, it’s been an absolute pleasure to do what I love and be recognized for it,” senior baritone section leader Cameron Skirvin said. “But truthfully, I don’t even care about the title nearly as much as I do the opportunity that the title has given me to teach my own pedagogy to a line of young players. I cannot wait to teach as a career, and it has been an incredible privilege to begin my teaching career in this way. As for actual skills, I have become so much better at concisely telling a line what it is that I want from them. Be it better dynamic control, breath support, quicker articulation, etc, I can more effectively communicate the changes that I want, which of course has its own real life benefits and ramifications.”

The performing arts also provides the chance for students outside of school to grow as performers through various opportunities offered within the clubs and programs 

“Outside of school, orchestra students are also opened up to nursing home performances through Tri-M Music Honors Society as well as being able to audition for the Indianapolis Youth Orchestra, All-Region orchestra or All-State Orchestra, which are three great external orchestra programs for high schoolers,” junior Orchestra member Hunter Petkovich said

In a similar way, CG’s theater department has also helped shape the performing arts of Center Grove with their performances of the CGHS 2023 Fall Musical “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” directed by Skylar Torrey, which has helped the students in the activity build their own little community.

“The musical is so much more different than most other clubs or extracurriculars at CG because you get to tap into different emotions and personalities that you may not be used to, and it can help to push you out of your comfort zone,” sophomore Claire Lollar said.  “It’s also a smaller community of people and allows new friendships to grow in the span of only a few months.”

Another of CG’s performing arts programs is its show choir program. Both varsity show choirs have won the national championships multiple times as well as several other awards at the various competitions they participate in throughout their competition season. But the club isn’t about winning, it’s about the impact it has on the students within it on themselves as individuals as well as their relationships with other students.

“Choir has impacted my life because it has encouraged me to push myself in many different aspects of my life,” senior Ifeoluwa Fasan said. “I try my best to push myself when it is during our daily practices, during competition season or whenever I need to manage my time wisely. Choir has also taught me accountability and camaraderie.”

As the performing arts evolve, so does the culture it gives to billions across the world. Even locally in the CG community, it still impacts many by teaching students so much about themselves, those around them and the world as a whole. 

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