March 12, 2008: Special evening

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To The Editor:

Recently The Roxbury Arts Group successfully solicited funds from Kids in the Kaatskills to implement an innovative cultural program for students in our community. The “Rising Star” program afforded five Roxbury Central School chorus and drama students the opportunity to work “one on one” with professional voice trainer Patty Dell and musician and instructor Kent Brown to help further refine their singing and performance skills. Last Friday evening, RAG hosted a professionally presented program that showcased these talented and expressive teenagers.
The program consisted of two solo pieces from each of the five students, a duet and a finale that brought all five on stage together. The performance pieces, chosen mostly by the students, were difficult and challenging and the audience was the obvious mix of parents, brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles. However, scattered among the proud families were several members of the community who support cultural programs such as this—especially those that provide a forum for the artistic expression of our youth. It truly was a special evening and an experience that I, as an audience member, will remember for years.
Kudos to RAG for creating yet another ground-breaking opportunity for the young artists in our community. My hat’s off to Carol Ann Dkystra, high school chorus instructor, who convincingly rallied these students. Mostly, I put forth my admiration and appreciation to performers Karly Bolger, Jonathan Dykstra, Alexia Finch, Mickey McAfee and Jefferson Piasek—you are amazing young individuals and a true community resource.

Peg Ellsworth,
Roxbury