Hughson High Hosts Its Night of the Arts


Aamie Bertolosso, Staff Editor

Hughson hosted its Night of the Arts on Monday, May 9th, 2022. There was a large variety of entertainment such as musical performances by both our school band and choir, arts and crafts, face painting, floral arrangements, food trucks, and an art gallery that consisted of pieces of fine art as well as photography. 

For this event originally being planned for the Fall of 2019, it went a lot better than expected with about 500 people attending and as Mr. Bland, the Photo, Yearbook, Journalism, and AP Art History teacher at HHS, says, “It was a great way to end the year.”

Mr. Brown, the Art 1, 2, 3 teacher and football coach at HHS describes this event as, “The event was great and a huge success! Students, families, faculty, and community members who attended the event were extremely impressed with the students’ artistic skill and the volume of artwork displayed.  Between the musical performances, fine art, photography, floral arrangements, arts and crafts, and food trucks, the night was a non-stop ride of fun and creativity made possible by the hard work and talents of hundreds of HHS students.”

For Mr. Bland, choosing what photography pieces would be shown he said, “I collected good images from students throughout the year.”

Mr. Brown had a slightly different process when it came to choosing the art pieces that were presented. “For every one of the approximately 180 students across my art classes, submitting a piece of art was mandatory.  Students were asked to choose one of the projects they created in class during the year.  They were given the choice to put their piece up for sale or not.”

As a result of this event going well, several pieces that were shown in the gallery were sold! Mr. Bland says, “I don’t know exactly how many pieces were sold but between the art, photos, and floral arrangements we may have sold almost a dozen individual pieces.”

As for the entertainment aspect of it, there were many Disney songs that were performed by our Women’s Choir, Concert Band, and Sound Investment. These Songs included A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes, Part of Your World, A Whole New World, Colors of the Wind, Arabian Nights, and The Lion Sleeps Tonight. 

When it comes to choosing what songs are going to be performed, Mr. Thompson, the Choir and Drama teacher at HHS, says, “Songs were chosen that would showcase student progress and be appropriate for the kind of family-friendly audience we expected to come.”

Mrs. Maki, the Jazz Band, Concert Band, and Symphonic Band teacher at HHS, adds, “Band music is selected by Mrs. Maki in collaboration with band students, and choir music is selected by Mr. Thompson in collaboration with choir students. When selecting music for a concert, we consider many things – the feel of the piece, the energy level, the message of the music, and the difficulty levels.”

There were various highlights at this event enjoyed by both faculty, students, and families. Mr. Brown shares, “The best part of the event for me consisted of a couple things.  First, seeing and hearing how excited families and community members were to see students’ artwork was very fun and exciting.  It was also rewarding to see students appreciating their classmates’ artwork.  In many cases art is most influential when it is shared with the public.  By sharing what our students’ are creating throughout the VAPA departments, we are celebrating their hard work, their creativity, and their unique voices as young artists and human beings.  I know my fellow VAPA teachers will agree with me in saying how proud we are of all of the students who participated in and helped make Night of the Art such a success in its first year at HHS.”

Mrs. Maki also adds, “One of the highlights for me during the Hughson Night of the Arts was the acknowledgement and awards given to band seniors. I am so honored to work with such special people, and  I have taught some of these students for 8 years. I tend to get a little emotional this evening thinking about our wonderful students and the family we have become over the years. I also really enjoyed seeing the student artwork – there were some incredible portraits, sculptures and photographs on display and it was fun to see.”

With this year’s success, there are plans to continue this event for future years to come. As for future plans, Mr. Bland shares, “We want to incorporate more art. Possibly have other performances. We want to bring in more teachers to collaborate with.”

Mrs. Maki also adds, “Mr. Bland, Mr. Brown, Mr. Thompson and myself will be meeting soon to discuss next year’s Night of the Arts – one thing we know we want to do differently for next time is to just spread the word more in advance to draw in an even bigger crowd.”

Mr. Thompson concludes by saying, “It will be bigger and even better organized.  We learned a lot from watching how the audience flowed from event to event.  For our first festival, we weren’t sure how many would come, and what they would participate in.  We found that people enjoyed everything, and we need to plan for bigger crowds.  For example, we had one table set up for face painting, but we could have used three tables, because of the interest.  Also, we need a better sound system for the outdoors.”