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Fine arts strike CCA’s board’s fancy

Choir, speech take center stage

OXFORD– After all of the performers and their families and friends left, the remainder of the evening was comparatively bland.
Third, fourth and fifth grade choir members at Clear Creek Elementary (CCE) performed for the Clear Creek Amana school board during a regular meeting Wednesday, April 16, in the CCE library. Also on the venue were four CCA high school students who competed in the All-State Speech Contest at University of Northern Iowa on March 31.
Emily Chatfield, the CCE music teacher directed the youth choir and noted it was the first year for such an endeavor at the school. Christine Maas and Grant Elsbernd, directors of the high school speech program, introduced seniors Mary Kate Meade, Logan Davis and Lizzie Garvin, and sophomore Jordan Pierce. Maas told the board the foursome is among the top three percent of speech students in the state by virtue of their All-State appearances.
“This group epitomizes what I think we want out of our high school kids,” High School Principal Mark Moody said. “These kids, not only do they do this (speech and drama), they’re involved in countless other activities, and they maintain very strong GPAs. They set a very good example for the rest of our students in how they manage and juggle that time.”
Meade delivered an after-dinner speech, which took a humorous look at life in a wheelchair, as if it were being presented at a fictitious wheelchair convention, the “Greater Iowa Mobility Power Conference,” or, “GIMP.” Davis, who recently held the title role in the CCA Drama Department’s production of “Willy Wonka,” performed his improvisational piece, a conversation between a bad super hero and a mountain man, who are roommates. When the super hero eats the wrong thing, the situation quickly spirals out of control.
Pierce also did an improvisational piece centered on an animal trainer attempting to hire a salesperson while demonstrating her fish’s special skill, with humorously tragic results. Garvin delivered a dose of poetry entitled, “If you are old and have the shakes,” a comedic look at the pitfalls of aging.
“It’s been awesome working with these guys all season,” Maas said. “It’s a great activity for kids to get involved in,” Elsbernd added.
As the performers filtered out, board president Steve Swenka jokingly asked if they should adjourn for the night.
“It’s all down hill from here,” board member Kevin Kinney said.