Contest Winner for January

Contest Winner for January 2012 is Yang Chen from North York, Ont.

Opening myself up to the arts has changed my life. To be an “artsy” male teenager in modern society is probably the hardest “persona” to pull off genuinely and without fear. But after being inspired by a little TV show called Glee, this was certainly not the case.

As a little kid, I always enjoyed singing, drawing, dancing, and being artistic in every single way. But that was the time of innocence, when your classmates didn’t care how you looked, what you wore, or how you acted like. Cliques, derogatory teasing, and bullying just didn’t really exist in grade two. However, as I grew older, I became more and more closeted in the arts. Growing up in fear of being teased made me the last person who would dance, sing, or be “artsy.” The hurtful connotations halted my true passion and personality for a long while. I graduated middle school a certified nerd, as I was accepted to TOPS, a math and science program, at Marc Garneau CI. Continue reading »

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How I raised money for my school’s glee team

Entry by Katharine da Costa, Essex Public School, Guest Blogger

There is no coincidence that I love the show “Glee” and after attending last year’s high school show choir championships, I recognized what a rewarding experience it was for the secondary students. Despite no show choir experience of my own and limited music training, I decided to start a show choir this year at my elementary school.

A little background first. My school is small, only about 90 Grade 7 and 8’s and they had never had any experience like this before. I work in the TDSB and this year teach Drama and Dance, Phys. Ed. and Health. Our school is comprised of many newcomers to Canada—lovely families. We don’t do a lot of field trips or have many presentations at our school because a lot of the students simply can’t afford it. Usually $10 a ticket is the unspoken maximum that we will request from a family for a special event. Continue reading »

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Contest Winner for October

Contest Winner for October 2011 is Tristan Raymond from Mississauga, Ont.

How does one begin to explain “art”? Art can’t properly be defined. Art is an opinion. Art takes the place of words, when words alone can’t express the fire in one’s heart. To me, art is my outlet when I’ve had enough of the outside world. To me, art is my relief when the stress of a routine has me angry and upset. And had I not realized this great, overwhelming truth when I did, I’m not sure if I’d be alive right now to write this in my basement, Chopin playing quietly on my iPod. So my question is: how haven’t the arts changed my life? Before I grew to love the musical arts, the constant thought that kept gnawing at the back of my mind was “I am not special”. Who was I? I was a ten year old, introverted boy with nothing to look forward to. I had no goals, no motivation, and no desire to be anything other than normal. Something was missing. Continue reading »

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Kyle the Vampire Slayer

Entry by Kyle Golemba, Guest Blogger

According to the musical [title of show], a vampire is:

“…any person or thought or feeling that stands between you and your creative self-expression, […] they can assume many seductive forms…”.

In the song, “Die Vampire, Die!”, they describe various forms like: Pygmy Vampires, Air Freshener Vampires, and the “mother of all vampires”, the Vampire of Despair.

Recently I did some major battles with the ugly, two-headed, second-cousin of the Pygmy Vampire: the Audition Vampire. Continue reading »

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Contest Winner for March

Contest Winner for March is Natalie Di Giandomenico from Hamilton, Ont.

Let me begin at . . . well, at the beginning. The first memory I have is when I was only three years old, playing a lullaby on the piano. My parents were there, saying “She’s gonna be great someday, you know”.

Determined that I would be, the years passed with me being enrolled in dance, swimming, skating, soccer, gymnastics – pretty much everything you can think of. But even though I tried so hard, I’d never necessarily been “great” at any of them, even piano, which I guess is why I dropped them all.

So there I was, an eight-year-old girl with so much of her life ahead of her but no discovered talent. I kinda guessed my parents were disappointed after spending all that money with no result, but then I happened to see a concert on television. For the next few weeks, I felt this kind of hope inside myself. Maybe if I just tried singing . . . then I would be “great”. I’d please everyone around me and maybe even myself, the hardest critic of all. Continue reading »

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