A Night To Remember by Kelly Surette
It was truly a celebration when on June 29, 2017 over forty Special Stars took the stage for their end of session showcases. The showcase took place at the Special Stars home studio at 133B Elm St, Salisbury, MA.
Four different classes spanning the ages of eight to sixty+ presented song selections focusing on the themes jungle animals, country music, patriotic songs, and The Wizard of Oz. Featured numbers included “Hakuna Matata” from the Lion King, “Oh, Susanna,” and “Proud to Be an American.” In addition, there was not a dry eye in the house when students performed their own personal renditions of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
Audience members were blown away as each student demonstrated their hard work, not only through their participation in singing group numbers, but through individual solos sung into the microphone. Every student had the opportunity to present their solo to the packed house as well as participate in elaborate group dance production numbers to songs like “Cotton Eyed Joe,” “Ding, Dong! The Witch is Dead!” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” Costumes, set pieces, and refreshments were paid for by the Special Stars nonprofit organization, Performing Arts Scholarships and Events.
Special Stars has been redefining the way the arts are taught to those with special needs since 2014 by teaching affordable group performing arts classes to those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Students learn to express themselves through creative music and movement activities while gaining confidence and appreciation for the arts. Personal attention is offered to meet each student’s individual needs through the support of dedicated volunteers and staff.
One student exclaimed proudly following her performance “I did a great job! I’m so proud of myself!” This was the general consensus across the board from the Special Stars performers and families/caregivers. Everyone was genuinely proud to take part in such a special evening.