BGHS students stage ‘Best of BG’
Student Sam Welbel tap dances to a Muppet song during Buffalo Grove High School's Fine Art talent show last month. | Mark Ukena~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 4, 2013 6:02AM
BUFFALO GROVE — Buffalo Grove High School’s top performers packed the same stage for one show last month.
The second annual “Best of BG: An Evening of Fine Arts” returned to BGHS’s Miller Theater on Dec. 13, featuring the two best Bison in the departments of dancing, singing, orchestra, band instruments, speech, and visual and video arts.
Kate Hutchinson, BGHS’s fine and performing arts co-coordinator, said the event is at its heart a variety show, but of a much more disciplined nature than others the school has staged.
She explained that in past years, open-call shows tended to attract students who wanted to showcase their talents, but may were reluctant to take the classes needed to hone them first.
“It was kind of a free-for-all; freshmen getting up there and singing little songs,” Hutchinson said of the shows that inspired Best of BG. “The top students weren’t getting involved. The kids being overlooked were the gems of the fine arts program.”
Thus, the idea of Best of BG: A show in which instructors select who the performers will be, creating the expectation for both audience and performers of top quality. Hutchinson said that the first time they tried it, the event went past its two-hour time limit, because they invited three students in each category to put on three- to four-minute performances.
Among the performers this year were seniors Payal Kumar and Michael Maley, the two representatives from BGHS’s debate team, which falls under the fine arts umbrella with the speech department. Instead of attempting one of their sport’s highly academic discourses, the two opted for farce, debating the merits of jousting.
Kumar pretended to stand against the sport, popular among English royalty in the Middle Ages, while Maley argued for its return as a viable method of settling international disputes.
“Modern warfare, in its current state, leads to genocide, dehumanization and nuclear war,” but jousting could fix all of that, Maley claimed.
“I was just throwing around lofty debate terms,” he admitted later.
The crowd, apparently satisfied with modern warfare, picked Kumar as the victor.
Hutchinson said they will have more fake debates to choose from in the future, as Best of BG continues to develop the school’s top performance talent.
“Those kids need voice, and those kids need a place to belong,” she said.