Aside from these specific festivals and conferences, band, chorus and orchestra programs from across the district also had the opportunity to receive feedback on performances at the Large Group Performance Evaluations. Another 98 middle and high school students also represented Forsyth County at the GMEA All-State band and orchestra competitions.
Theater students in the county had the opportunity to compete at GHSA’s One Act competition, and Denmark High School’s students ended up winning the 7A state championship. Denmark students also walked away with wins at the Literary 7A State Individual/Group competitions along with students from North and South Forsyth high schools.
Keyser also spoke on the accomplishments of the county’s visual arts students, congratulating winners of the All-State Art Symposium, National Arts Society National Juried Show, Scholastic Art Awards and more.
The district also hosted its annual Arts Honor Day just last month where they offered six different day-long classes taught by college professors from across the state. Participating students had the opportunity not only to learn artistic skills, but also to make connections at different colleges and universities.
Keyser said more than 240 of these performing and visual arts students who are graduating this year are also recipients of the GaDOE Fine Arts Diploma Seal.
After speaking on these accomplishments, Keyser informed the board on any updates regarding the fine arts program’s strategic plan, which works to “promote and advance arts education in Forsyth County Schools, increase our partnership with the community and eliminate barriers to increase participation and ensure quality arts education experiences for all of our students.”
In trying to expand the capacity of FCS’ arts program, Keyser said they are planning to start an East Forsyth Youth and Community Orchestra for kids in grades 3-12 that will open alongside East Forsyth High School at the beginning of the next school year.
On top of that, they are expanding the music therapy program, which helps to support students with special needs, and they have implemented a new high school Forsyth Virtual Academy visual arts course.
Access will also open up to the larger community through the Forsyth County Arts and Learning Center opening in November.
“We are excited about the tremendous benefit to our students and increased arts access to the community through the FoCAL Center,” Keyser said.