Elegance was in the air as students of Valley Oaks Charter School offered a memorable night of singing, musical performances and dancing at Country Oaks Baptist Church Friday night.
The 14th annual Elegant Evening of the Arts was filled with performances, including piano solos and duet, vocal solos, a jazz dance and even a sign language interpretation of the song "Brother" by Need to Breathe.
"The kids are very talented," said Allison Ellms, mother of Faith Ellms, who performed the sign language act. Allison said she would highly recommend Valley Oaks to all parents considering the charter school, as Faith is her third child to attend.
According to Vice Principal Margo Hayes, the students have been working hard at practicing for their big performances since auditioning for the show in February.
Asked how important the arts are to her students, Hayes said, "I think it's huge. We have amazing artists, dancers and singers at Valley Oaks. They worked really hard, and they are great kids."
Performing with her Musical Theater class for grades 2 and 3 was Dylan Cash, 8, singing two songs along with her classmates. Cash said she wants to be a singer when she grows up, and prefers to sing in a big group; however, she would consider trying out for "American Idol."
Eliza Lytle, 10, said she has been brushing up on her piano solo of "Dance of the Candy Fairy" for the past few months, but she would prefer to be a singer when she grows up.
High school senior Jessica Nichols was one of the many performers of the Valley Oaks Tehachapi High School Choir, which performed three songs to end the evening. Nichols said she and the other choir members were required to put in many hours of practice in preparation for the Elegant Evening performance.
Nichols said she wants to be an actress and a singer.
"Funny story...when I was 13, I went to 'American Idol' and did a mini-session. I wasn't able to go onstage because I was too young, but I did do it because I wanted to," said Nichols.
After the performances, students, parents and staff members met back at Valley Oaks Charter School to view an art display created by the students.