By Dawn Krebs
ST. LUCIE COUNTY -- When it comes to the performing arts, Indian River State College wants to do everything it can to help students of all ages.
So for the 11th year, the college is opening its doors and inviting elementary- and middle-school students to take part in an upcoming Performing Arts Academy.
"It started back in 2003 as a way for the younger students to be introduced to the fine arts," said Rebecca Shearer, theater manager at IRSC.
Instruction in music, dance, theater and art will be available to students in the community ages 3 through 17. First-time students will have a sign-up fee of $25. Classes will be held on the college campus at the McAlpin Fine Arts Center on the IRSC main campus in Fort Pierce.
For those who want to try a musical instrument, the program offers private music instruction in piano, strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. Group music lessons are also available.
For children who want to sing, there are private and group vocal lessons, as well as a musical theater workshop. The workshop focuses on children ages 5 to 8 years old and teaches the basics of acting, dancing and singing on a stage.
While the students have a variety of classes to choose from, the academy will hold an end-of-session recital to show what all the students have learned.
New this year is Kindermusic lessons for children up to age 5, broken up into four age groups, which all incorporate music and movement.
The youth musical theater class is one of the most popular offered. It's an advanced class for acting for students ages 9 through 15. Students audition to be in the class and then practice four times a week to perform a musical for the public at the end of the class.
This year, the musical theater students will perform in "The Little Mermaid Jr." on April 26 and 27.
The performing arts academy open house will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 15 in the McAlpin Fine Arts Center lobby on the IRSC main campus, 3209 Virginia Ave. in Fort Pierce. For more information, call (866) 792-4772.