WEST NEWBURY — As it does each year at this time, the Pentucket School District's arts department offers three free events that will blow the community's creative socks off.
The multiday artistic bonanza kicks off tomorrow at the annual Arts Festival, featuring art produced throughout the year by students in the visual arts program, music ensembles, theater performance, film and music production classes. The event, which runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the high school, not only highlights the talent of students and staff, but also emphasizes the importance of Pentucket's sequential arts program.
Art Department chairwoman Ellen Hart and her staff transform the high school into an art gallery — with paintings, sketches and photographs on every wall, and vocal, instrumental, comedic and theatrical performances around every corner throughout the building.
Festival-goers can grab a schedule of events to follow as they enter the high school, or simply stroll the hallways, lobby, cafeteria and auditorium enjoying the artistic sights and sounds.
As a fundraiser for the Pentucket Fine and Performing Arts Foundation, small plates of refreshments will be on sale in the cafeteria. West Newbury Selectman, Glenn Kemper, who owns a catering business, has donated beverages to the concession fundraiser. PFPAF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the arts in the Pentucket schools.
Next up, the melodious sounds of Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis will be heard wafting from the high school on Friday at this year's final CafÃ© Jazz. The 7 p.m. concert includes performances by the Blues Ensemble, the Big Band and the Jazz Combo — which took a silver medal at the MAJE Jazz Combo Competition in Worcester this year and fourth place at the Berklee College of Music High School Jazz Festival. Freshman vocalist Morgan Mahoney will sing a Cannonball Adderley/Nancy Wilson arrangement of 'Happy Talk' from Roger's and Hammerstein's South Pacific.