Educational Efforts

Part of the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center’s mission is to be a proactive and vibrant partner in arts education to the Stowe community and surrounding regions. In the past year the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center has provided many inspiring, educational opportunities to Vermont children and adults through in-school shows, master classes and free performances at the Center.


Perlman Music Program performs in Stowe

In November, 2011 the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, in partnership with The Perlman Music Program (PMP) and sponsors Morgan & Sidney Stark, hosted PMP’s premiere Residency Program in Stowe. Founded by Toby Perlman 18 years ago, The Perlman Music Program offers unparalleled musical training to young string players of rare and special talent. With a world-class faculty led by Itzhak Perlman, the New York City and Shelter Island, NY based program seeks to develop the future leaders of classical music, all within a nurturing and supportive musical community.

The five day Stowe residency included an open rehearsal for Vermont string students, their teachers and an audience, to witness an intimate orchestra rehearsal conducted by one of the greatest musicians of our time.  Maestro Perlman also conducted a younger group of Vermont string students who performed together with The Perlman Music Program for the first time.  This special open rehearsal was presented to the public free of charge.

The residency then culiminated in two evening performances with a chamber music concert on Friday night, followed by an orchestral and choral concert conducted by Maestros Itzhak Perlman and Patrick Romano.

This event was so successful the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center plans to host the Perlman Music Program again in the Fall of 2012.


Stowe Elementary School Chorus performs in A Charlie Brown Christmas with David Benoit

In December, forty students from the Stowe Elementary School chorus joined contemporary jazz pianist and composer, David Benoit, on stage for “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”  This unique opportunity allowed children as young as age eight to perform on a professional stage with a five-time Grammy nominated musician.


 Terrance Simien brings “Creole for Kids” to Williston Central School

In February, the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center treated students at Williston Central School in Williston, Vermont to two performances by Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience.  Simien is committed to preserving Creole heritage and educating young kids about Zydeco music.  His “Creole for Kids” is a multicultural arts-in-education “informance” (informational performance) that has reached over 500,000 K-12 students, parents and educators at schools, art centers and festivals around the globe in places far away from Louisiana.  The Williston students earned the concert as the capstone of their successful participation in Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBiS), a program that focuses on reducing student behavioral problems through proactive and preventative tactics.

 “Eco-Tainer”  Steve Trash performs at Stowe Elementary School

Also in February, children from Stowe Elementary School and Waterbury’s Thatcher Brook Elementary School were engaged by World Class “Eco-Tainment” from illusionist and environmental educator, Steve Trash – the “Rockin’ Eco Hero.”  These special performances were sponsored through the generosity of the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center’s continuing commitment to arts education.

The students at both schools were mesmerized by Steve Trash’s show, designed to make learning about the environment a fun experience.  Since 1984, Steve Trash has entertained over 20 million kids with live ecological illusions, magic tricks, and family-friendly fun appearing in live venues all over the world including Japan, Australia, Canada, Portugal, and Spain. He’s even performed his magic tricks above the Arctic Circle.  Steve Trash is a member of the National Recycling Coalition, the North American Environmental Education Association, the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media and he’s a founding board member of Keep the Shoals Beautiful, a non-profit organization with the mission of protecting and enhancing The Shoals area of northwest Alabama.

 Harlem Dance Director Visits Stowe Dance Academy

In March, 24 young dancers from the Stowe Dance Academy enjoyed a rigorous master class taught by dance director Keith Saunders, from the Dance Theatre of Harlem. The Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble (DTHE) is the second company of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the world-renowned ballet company of African American and other racially diverse artists. DTHE repertoire is comprised of classical, neoclassical and innovative contemporary ballet presented with freshness and vitality by a group of young and talented artists.  Following the Thursday master class, students of the Stowe Dance Academy were offered a special priced ticket to attend the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Friday evening performance at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center.  The Center hopes to be able to offer a future residency program to expose young, Vermont dancers to a world-class dance company right in their own back yard.



Louisiana native Terrance Simien brings ‘Zydeco Experience’ to WCS

Good students treated to Grammy-winning musicians

Local students enjoy educational show

Harlem Dance Director Visits Dance Academy

Boffo ballet: Dance Theatre of Harlem leaps into Stowe