How to Cheer on the Arts? Create a Club!
Bruin Classies members William Thompson, Caleb Stay, Amelyah Berson and Kylie Campbell advertise a play "Into the Woods" at Mountain View High School on Nov. 19, 2021.
We have all seen groups of students at sporting events, cheering on their school’s teams, often clad in school colors, holding posters, chanting and shouting. In fact, many high schools have strong, longstanding traditions of clubs that support sports teams. But where are the groups of students cheering on, supporting, advertising for and bolstering those students who participate in and create the arts?
One high school in Orem, Utah – Mountain View High School – has a new club, aimed at cheering on the student artists. The “Bruin Classies” was created to support, cheer on and lead student sections of arts performances and displays.
The school already has a group of students called the Bruin Crazies, who support and cheer for and lead student sections at sports games and meets. “The Bruin Crazies are essentially our student cheering department,” said Caleb Stay, senior at Mountain View High School. “We figured, ‘Why not create something for all of the arts, whether it be choir, band, orchestra, jewelry showcase, photography and art galleries - to give them some publicity and cheer them on?’”
According to Stay, the idea of a club that would support the arts has been talked about at the school for a long time, but this is the first year that it has been done. As soon as the club became official, students began signing up. There are already 90 members, even though the club is new.
The Bruin Classies, named because they aim to bring a sense of class to the performances that they attend, have a uniform of sorts. They wear bowties to performances. Additionally, in the days leading up to performances, members of the club wear signs around school to advertise the upcoming shows.
“The students deserve to be celebrated by the student body. This is stuff that they have poured their time into and it deserves to be admired,” Stay said. “If you worked really hard on something and no one showed up, it would be a bummer. We just want to make sure that no one feels that way. We’ll get a bunch of kids to come and we want to be there to support the students.”
As arts performances, shows or displays come up at the school this year, the Bruin Classies will make sure that a group of students are there, cheering them on.
Mountain View High School’s drama department presented “Into the Woods,” a musical by James Lapine with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, from November 18-22. The musical play includes plots from several different Brothers Grimm fairy tales.
Members of the Bruin Classies advertised the play around school and encouraged people to go. They also attended and supported the drama department at the performances. This was the first event for the Classies, but it won’t be the last. They plan to support the arts throughout the school year.
Stay is president of the Bruin Classies and is also the school’s choir vice-president and he knows how important it is to feel supported for the hard work. “We want people to feel pride in the product that they produced. A lot of people are interested in the club, especially those in the arts,” he said.
Laura Giles is a lover of all things art, a first-grade teacher in Alpine School District, a writer for The Daily Herald newspaper, an Arts Leadership Academy graduate and has earned the Arts Integration Endorsement from Brigham Young University. She can be reached at LauraCGiles@gmail.com.