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Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:03

Saratoga Central Catholic Fine Arts Program Blossoming with Help of Teacher

While most fine arts programs in schools throughout the country are being cut or reduced dramatically due to lack of funding, the program at Saratoga Central Catholic (SCC) High School is actually growing, even against all odds.

 

Pat Douglass, who is only in her second school year as the music and drama educator at SCC (though she has been teaching for 34 years), is overseeing the budding fine arts program, which produced a few musicals and plays last year, including “Grease” for the high school students and “School House Rock Live” for the middle school students.

“The kids went crazy over it,” Douglass said. “We had sell-out nights for ‘Grease,’ and they got so into it that by the time it was done, they were like ‘It’s over?’”

Students were so thrilled about the musicals’ success that they approached Douglass asking to perform a production during the summer.

“The kids wanted to continue to work together, so we started in August and rehearsed one day a week,” Douglass said. “So I put together some songs through the ages and a narrative, and that’s how we came up with our musical ‘100 Years of Broadway.’”

The musical raised just over $1,000 for the SCC Players, the booster club made up of parents and future parents of fine arts students who want to raise money for the performing arts program.

Douglass said that before her arrival, SCC only put on one show a year and students from sixth to the twelfth grades were participants, a policy she has already changed.

“I believe that the middle school and high school need their own programs so they all have the opportunity to shine,” Douglass said.

She added that this year will be a huge year for the fine arts program, with several productions already in the works for the students.

“We open next weekend with a mystery spoof called ‘The Butler Did It, Again!’, which is very, very funny,” Douglass said.

Other projects in the works are a drama for the middle school students to be put on in January, a play called “Anything Goes” for the high school students, to be put on in March, and the famous musical “Annie” will be put on by the middle school students in April.

“They’re very excited,” Douglass said. “They’re already asking about auditions for everything.”

The increasing numbers of productions aren’t the only big plans Douglass has for the fine arts program at SCC. After creating a Glee Club, she also began a music class for middle school students and plans to expand the music program into the high school next year.

The fine arts program will also begin fundraising efforts next year for instruments and a band program, which the school doesn’t currently have.

“[The students] are excited,” Douglass said. “We have wonderful drama classes for both middle school and high school students, and hopefully we’ll have a full-fledged program within the next three years.”

Douglass added that the kids are building their teamwork skills by working together on their fine arts productions.

“It’s wonderful to see them work together and build such teamwork,” Douglass said. “They come together and take care of each other, and it’s cool to see that. These kids have focus and determination, and it’s just a pleasure to work with them.”

The school’s comedic production, “The Butler Did It, Again!” by Tim Kelly, will have showings November 2nd and 3rd at 7 p.m., with a matinee showing Sunday at 3 p.m. All shows will take place at the St. Peters Parish Center. For more information on the play or the fine arts program at SCC, visit www.saratogacentralcatholic.org.

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