Some students spent the summer break improving their artistic talents.

The Ravenwood High School Chamber Orchestra was named one of six orchestras around the country to perform at the Music for All National Concert Festival in March of 2019. The orchestra is led by Ravenwood High Orchestra Director Cassandra Brosvik. The festival will take place in Indianapolis on March 14-16.

“I am so proud of the Chamber Orchestra students for their hard work and dedication,” Brosvik said. “Last spring when we were preparing for our Concert Performance Assessment, it became clear we were accomplishing something special.”

Nine students from Independence and Summit high schools attended the Summer Scholars Production Program at Mississippi State University from June 23 through July 15. The Summit High students who attended were Maddie Bauer, Mia Hayes, Grace Smith, Riley Joffs, Sydney Thurston, Ansley Preston, Grant Morrow and Cole Barnhill. Independence High’s Mahaley Olson also attended the program. Only 66 middle and high school students from a total of seven states attended the program, which requires an audition and demonstration of the student’s talents.

“It is great for the kids to be able to attend because not only do they grow as a performer, they develop a sense of friendship and family very quickly,” said Spring Station Middle Drama Teacher Kellie Olson, who was a staff member at the camp and helped direct the show. “Once they go to the camp, they always want to return every summer until they age out, and some become counselors.”

High school students weren’t the only ones to show their skills during the summer. The Woodland Middle Forensics Team attended the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) tournament in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the end of June. The team advanced to the National Quarterfinals out of more than 160 competitors. They were also one of only three Tennessee schools to attend the tournament.

“I am so proud of these girls and their accomplishments,” said WMS Forensics Coach Margaret Hall. “They have worked so hard this entire year, going above and beyond to improve their selections. I’m looking forward to having their leadership as this coming year’s captains.”