Cool Schools: Mishawaka’s fine arts program growing

Cool Schools: Mishawaka’s fine arts program growing

MISHAWAKA, Ind.—School City of Mishawaka is continuing its commitment to the fine arts by the hiring of a coordinator to oversee and strengthen its art, theatre, music, and dance programs.

Matt Brown was hired this year to lead the district’s fine arts programming.

Brown is a professional opera singer and educator who spent the last few years performing in New York City but a desire to be closer to his family in Goshen brought him to Michiana.

“The fine arts are extremely important to our students in this day in age. Our students need to be able to express themselves with their art. Some of them quite frankly just need to vent. We all have those struggles or positive things in our lives and it’s just great to have that venue, that platform,” Brown said.

The district says that it invested an additional $210,000 so that Brown could be hired and accomplish some of his goals within his first year.

As the coordinator of the fine arts programs, Brown is in charge of implementing new courses, improving current ones and supporting teachers.

“If they’re going to have great things come out of this community, it starts here, and it starts with them and we’ve got to work hard to make that happen,” Brown said.

In less than two weeks, the show choir will perform a version of the Academy Award-winning musical “La La Land” under Brown’s direction.

“It is about pursuing your dreams and the costliness that they can be. Sometimes it’s not easy,” Brown said.

Senior Anthony Furguson worried that show choir would overwhelm him, but says once he nailed down singing and dancing at the same time, that all changed.

“I think it has strengthened the relationships I have with everyone else in the class,” Furguson said.

Junior Victoria Tiller says show choir sparked her passion for singing and dancing.

“I love the feeling of coming on stage and showing people something that you’ve created from scratch,” Tiller said.

Brown says that the show choir will not be competing this year but it will be performing in the community.

The first show is at Mishawaka High School on October 30 at 7 p.m.

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