If you walk the halls of Cincinnati Ohio’s School of Creative and Performing Art’s, you’ll likely hear someone practicing the harp, some rifts of jazz piano,and a vocalist practicing her scales. You may even bump into a dancer running ‘en pointe’ to her next class or encounter painters adding colors to props for the school’s next theatrical production.
Just another day at SCPA…
Though divorce and difficult circumstances brought my children and I from Chicago to Cincinnati, it has been the opportunity to have three of my four children attend SCPA that keeps us here. It is truly an exciting place, and though located in the ‘challenged ” neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine, it is a public school with a private school atmosphere. The student population is diverse, the clothing is colorful (sometimes wacky!) and the hallways vibrate with creative energy. Each of my children have developed strong senses of their own personal identities, with a lot less of the crowd-following instincts of most teenagers.
There is amazing talent at SCPA…I have often been moved to tears at the beauty of some of the performances I’ve attended. As much attention is paid to the quality of these performances as would be in any professional production.
When my now 17 year old son was about 3 and just able to draw recognizable pictures, he handed me a drawing of a stage, the stage had a piano, a drum set and a guitar, but it also had lights, a sound board and wires that led from the board to the instruments. I was stunned by the drawing at the time and he has continued to be passionate about stage lighting and sound all of his life. He now has the extreme good fortune to be in a school where that gift has been honed and refined, he has been able to be an intern for some professional theatre companies, has worked for a professional lighting company and has designed and operated light and sound for more performers and performances than I can count. When he graduates from SCPA (keep your fingers crossed, we are all math challenged!) he will be a licensed electrician and has already been offered several jobs…though he plans on continuing to college.
I don’t think that there are too many other schools in this country where he would be able to focus so early on a lifelong talent.
My daughter who graduated from SCPA in 2007 is now a Theatre Major at Northern Kentucky University and my youngest son is exploring Technical Theatre and Fine Arts at SCPA. There are many who have attended SCPA that have gone on to have wonderful careers in many different aspects of the creative and performing arts, as there are also many who may have chosen not to pursue the paths they were on when they attended SCPA, but I have not encountered any alumni that doesn’t feel that their lives turned out better by attending SCPA.
SCPA will soon be moving from its current location in a historical post-civil war building to a new and larger building that will house students from kindergarten through high school, it will contain state-of-the-art performance facilities and will be able to open its arms to even more gifted young people.
I look forward with much hope and anticipation to many more years of shining talent from Cincinnati’s School for Creative and Performing Arts. There were Talented students compete in a performing arts festival as well. This is how kids were able to bloom and grow with other participants with which they try to compete.