Deerfield Valley talent show to benefit performing arts


WILMINGTON -- Wings Director Andy Hauty says he is trying to increase the capacity of performing arts programming made available to students within the Windham Southwest Supervisory Union District.

"It's so low," he said. "A lot of parents and kids want to boost the training in the area. For some reason, they just can't access Greenfield or Brattleboro."

On April 26, performers from Wilmington, Whitingham and Halifax will present acts in "Deerfield Valley's Got Talent." The event will be held at Memorial Hall in Wilmington, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children.

Readsboro is part of the Wings district but its school is having its own talent show in May. Wings Community Programs provides after-school activities and other programming. It began in the fall of 2002 through a federal education grant.

Proceeds from the talent show will go towards supporting the annual Wings Performing Arts Camp in the summer and the new Twin Valley Middle and High School performing arts pod, which is currently under construction in Whitingham.

The camp will be held from June 17 to 27. In the past, campers have put on shows such as "Oz" and "Neverland." This year, there will be a production of "Scooby Doo." Local musicians come in on the last week to collaborate with the vocalists.

Wings will utilize the performing arts pod at the Twin Valley school for dance and music workshops once construction is completed.

There were two dates for talent show auditions, one in March and the other in April.

"We had 15 acts," said Hauty. "We have kids from elementary to middle school and high school. There's also adults."

Most of the student performers are from Twin Valley schools. There are four high school students, four middle school students and seven elementary school students participating as well as five adult acts.

A performer from the New England Center for Circus Arts will enter a German wheel, which will roll down the aisle. Women from the Sumner family will be performing. Maria Sumner is a special education teacher and Wings coordinator at Halifax School. There are two comedy acts scheduled for the show as well as a hula hoop act and elementary school band performance.

"It's a good range," said Hauty. "It is all over the place, which is really kind of fun."

He told the Reformer that during auditions, all performers received feedback from a screening committee. They were asked to stand closer to the microphone and offered other professional advice.

A similar show was put on at Memorial Hall in the past by the Twin Valley High School. Hauty said it was really successful but did not know when it stopped being put on.

"We reviving it," he added. "It should be a really professional show."

Organizers hope to make it an annual event to raise money for the Wings program.

As director of Wings, Hauty facilitates programs such as a fabric workshop at the Twin Valley Elementary School that is taught by an instructor from the New England Center for Circus Arts. All children attending schools within the supervisory union district are invited to attend.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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