Under the spotlight: Students are finding themselves through performing arts


Members of the NHS show choir dancing and singing during practice. Although doing both at the same time can be taxing, those in show choir make it look easy.

Danielle Hook and Madeline Smith

Sophomore Chloe Bass remembers how intimidated she was at her first band performance. The velvet stage curtains swung open, revealing, to the awaiting audience, a mirage of instruments held by the shaky hands of student performers. The fiery glow of spotlights glare onto anxious expressions of Bass and her peers. Through the trembling and the burning, a spark of passion is ignited.

The choir, band, orchestra, and theater programs at NHS allow students to find their identity through performing. These programs have also inspired them to express themselves. Performance arts is where students have found their melody, rhythm, and especially their voice.  


Chloe Bass, Violinist

 “I tried out a band instrument, but I could not make a noise,”  Bass said. 

As a sixth grader, Bass felt as though a part of her was missing because she hadn’t yet discovered her calling. This feeling led to Bass deciding to join NHS’s orchestra program.

“I wanted to try something new and something different. No one I knew had done orchestra,” Bass said.

With new things comes nervousness. Although the difficulty of orchestra may invite anxiety in some people, Bass says she appreciates that the challenges help her to improve. 

 “Playing tests are a little nerve-racking, but it’s always good to just get it done and I think it helps build confidence and getting used to playing in front of someone,” Bass said. 

Through playing the violin, Bass discovered a new hobby and developed a passion. Bass is grateful for performance arts helping her overcome her fears. 

“Even if I do badly on a playing test, or I’m not really proud of it, I still feel accomplished to have just gotten out there and played in front of people and faced my nervousness,” Bass said. 


Lauren Davis, Trombone Player

“I played the first note and I knew this would be for life,” senior Lauren Davis said. 

Davis has been playing trombone ever since she first picked up the instrument as a fifth grader. Band helped her discover friendships as well as beautiful melodies. Playing the trombone became an expressive outlet for Davis as she developed her skills and even her identity. 

“Band has definitely pushed me to make more friends because it makes [the band] sound better together,” Davis said. 

Although Davis believes practicing can sometimes become repetitive, she also thinks that staying persistent is worth it in the end. Playing the trombone has provided her with many opportunities and she says it has given her a place to be seen. 

“Band gives me a sense of community and it changes you so much as a person,” Davis said. 


Noelle Henson, Actress

“I knew I wanted to do more with performing and they advertised the musical. I didn’t know what it was exactly,” senior Noelle Henson said. 

As a sixth grader, Henson joined theater out of curiosity. Henson landed a speaking role as a middle schooler and ever since, continued performing throughout middle and high school, only taking a break to work backstage for a few years. Being behind the scenes strengthened her passion for theater, when she eventually returned to the stage. 

“I did sound, helped out with costumes, props, and stage management,” Henson said. 

Henson returned to performing and got her biggest role to date in the high school’s 2022 production of “Chicago”. With the recent loss of her biggest fan, her grandmother, Henson performed through passion and grief. 

“I put an immense pressure on myself to perform, as if [my grandmother] was sitting in the audience,” Henson said. 

Henson found that theater allowed her to work through any difficult emotions and she noticed that her peers could do the same. It gave her a home away from home with people who could possibly relate to her. 

 “I found that a lot of people who are very guarded human beings can find solace in the small group of people that you’re with for five hours a day,” Henson said. “It’s like a little family.”


Julianne Fowler, Choir Director

“Performing as a student helped me learn valuable lessons of teamwork, humility, 

 confidence, trying new things, and perseverance,” Said Julianne Fowler, NHS choir director.

Fowler has had many students in choir, she watches them come and go, but she also relates to each one of them on a personal level. Reminiscing about her choir experience in high school helps Fowler recognize how it has changed and helped her students grow, like she once did. 

“My favorite part of teaching performing arts is definitely watching kids grow from Point A to Point B,” Fowler said. “They seem to discover that they are capable of more than they previously thought along the way, and that journey makes it all worthwhile.”

Fowler noticed how choir has helped so many students find their self-worth. Without every student in the ensemble, the performance would be incomplete. Fowler values her students and helps them on their journey of self-discovery in high school.

“I want my students to know that they are irreplaceably valuable and they can do hard things,” Fowler said. “Watching my students grow and believe in themselves is the absolute best part of my job, and I hope to share that joy with every student I teach.”