Stout Middle School volunteers nurtured the school’s performing arts program with a school-wide talent show on December 14 to encourage creativity and provide a safe space for students to s Express.
Volunteer principal and mentor Amen Salha, a high school student at Edsel Ford High School, said he launched the talent competition this year to raise awareness of the importance of the performing arts at the college level.
âThis talent show provides a safe space for students who are not upcoming NBA basketball players or NFL quarterbacks to express their creative thoughts,â he said. âIt provides a community they can count on during these trying times. “
Salha said her goal is to nurture and provide an artistic outlet for students with a creative mindset and inclination.
âIt’s really important for so many of these students that they have a place where they can practice their passion and where it is enjoyed,â he said. âSo we want to make sure that all of these students feel welcome here. “
Salha said the students wanted to try a non-musical piece afterwards.
âI was super happy to hear that, and maybe next semester we’ll put something on,â he said. âFor the past two years, those auditorium curtains have been closed, and it’s overwhelming, as a lot of people find solace on stage.
The performance featured student singers, musicians, dancers, the school cheering team and a Rubik’s cube scholar, who solved the puzzle in 24 seconds, and a pair of animators who entertained the house with comedic jokes between the numbers.
Salha said the artists are a diverse group as well.
âIt’s a wide range of students, and I’m very proud of it, because I think diversity is very important,â he said.
Director Zahraa Berro, an eighth-grader who prefers to work behind the scenes, said she enjoys seeing her classmates show off their talent on stage.
âI know most of the students here so it was fun doing that with them,â she said. âThey don’t care what you’re doing wrong. They just pay attention to your talent and what you do well.
Eighth-grade artist Wyatt Carden, a rapper, who performs his original work, also said his father and uncle rap.
He said he was nervous until he got on stage and then disappeared once he performed, which he said is a really good feeling.
âI’m a Catholic rapper and I don’t swear in my music,â Carden said. âMy music is a bit PG and some of it is really dark, but it’s clean. I feel like I release a lot of my chest when I rap.
Eighth grade student Jenna Amro, who was one of the facilitators, said she loved volunteering and helping at her school. The position therefore suited him quite naturally.
She said she got to know the artists so that she could present them properly.
âEveryone is so amazing here,â Amro said. “Everyone is so nice and they are so understanding, I felt very comfortable coming in.”
She said being on stage over the years has boosted her confidence.
âDearborn Public Schools have amazing programs and they are so open,â Amro said. âI think you should always be open to doing things like this. “
Parent volunteer Sumaia El-Assal said it was important to give students the opportunity to do things like perform in a talent show after being isolated for so long due to the pandemic.
âIt allows them to express and bring art back here,â she said. âWe have a variety of kids from all walks of life, so we have a mix of everything. “
El-Assal said she enjoyed seeing the students perform on stage.
âThey need these opportunities, and we are planning to do something in the spring because it has been such a success,â she said. “I think this is something that we are going to continue.”
The talent show artists included: singer Fatima Sarhan; pianist Tia Hammoud; the master of the Rubik Cube Ebrahim Alkhaili; the multigenerational 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.