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Performing Arts in Middle School – The News Herald


Stout Middle School volunteers supported the school’s performing arts program with a school-wide talent show on December 14th to encourage creativity and provide students with a safe space to express themselves.

Honorary director and mentor Amen Salha, a graduate of Edsel Ford High School, said he launched the talent show earlier this year to help raise awareness of the importance of the performing arts in middle school.

“This talent show provides a safe space for students who are not the next NBA basketball player or NFL quarterbacks to express their creative thoughts,” he said. “It offers a community they can rely on in these difficult times.”

Salha said his goal is to provide and nurture an artistic outlet for students with a creative mindset and inclination.

“For so many of these students, it’s really important that they have a place where they can practice their passion and where it’s valued,” he said. “So we want to make sure that all of these students feel welcome here.”

Salha said the students want to try a non-musical piece next.

“I was thrilled to hear that, and maybe we’ll be wearing something next semester,” he said. “These auditorium curtains have been closed for the past two years and that’s annoying because a lot of people find it comfortable to be on stage.”

The performance consisted of student vocalists, musicians, dancers, the school’s competitive cheer team, and a Rubik’s Cube scholar who solved the puzzle in 24 seconds, and two presenters entertaining the house with comedic banter between the numbers.

Salha said the performers are a diverse group too.

“It’s a great range of students and I’m very proud of that because I think diversity is very important,” he said.

Stage manager Zahraa Berro, an eighth grader who prefers to work behind the scenes, said she enjoyed seeing her classmates show their talent on stage.

“I know most of the students here, so they were fun doing that,” she said. “They don’t care what you’re doing wrong. They only pay attention to your talent and what you are good at. “

Eighth grader Wyatt Carden, a rapper who performs his original work, said his father and uncle rap too.

He said he was nervous until he got on stage and then it went away when he performed which was a very good feeling.

“I’m a Catholic rapper and I don’t curse in my music,” Carden said. “My music is kind of PG and some of it is really dark, but it’s clean. I feel like I get a lot on my nerves with rap. “

Eighth grader Jenna Amro, who served as one of the presenters, said she loves volunteering and helping at her school, so the position was a natural choice.

Stout eighth grader Wyatt “Echo” Carden plays his own rap music during the matinee performance of the Dearborn Stout Middle School Talent Show on December 14th.

She said she got to know the cast in order to adequately introduce them.

“Everyone is so great here,” said Amro. “Everyone is so nice and they are so understanding that I felt very comfortable.”

She said being on stage over the years had boosted her confidence.

“Dearborn Public Schools have great programs and they’re so open,” said Amro. “I think you should just always be open to things like that.”

Voluntary parenting spokeswoman Sumaia El-Assal said it was important to give students the opportunity to perform, for example, on a talent show after being isolated for so long due to the pandemic.

“It lets them express the art and bring it back here,” she said. “We have a variety of children from all backgrounds, so we have a mix of everything.”

El-Assal said she loved seeing the students on stage.

“You need these opportunities and we plan to do something this spring because it was such a success,” she said. “I think this is something we will continue.”

The talent show cast included: singer Fatima Sarhan; Pianist Tia Hammoud; Rubik’s Cube Master Ebrahim Alkhaili; Cross-generational piano and bass duo Colin and Marty Ballog; Singer Wade Carden; the stout competition cheer team; Rap musician Wyatt Carden; Arab drummers Mahmmoud Abdulshafi and Waled Siefeddine; and the stout dance team.


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