B-UHS Fine Arts Students of the Week: Ariel Blackburn and Sammie Shay

Each week Buckhannon-Upshur High School features two Fine Arts Students of the Week to highlight the work students are doing in the art world. This week’s students are Ariel Blackburn and Sammie Shay.

Visual Arts Student of the Week: Ariel Blackburn

Grade: 10

Student Organizations/Ensembles/Clubs/Arts Activities (in-school): National Art Honor Society, Soundwaves, FFA, and B-UHS Theatre

Student Extracurriculars Arts (Community): Various NAHS activities including painting windows for the local Donut Spot.

Student Accolades (Academic & Fine Arts): Being featured in the Upshur County Youth Art Exhibit in 2023 and 2024.

Favorite Roles/Pieces/Shows Performed/Etc: Being cast in Cinderella and the role of “Ettie Tofilmire” in Music Man.

Why are the arts important to you? They bring joy and love to the world and promote inner healing.

Future Plans: Attend college and travel.

Arts Teacher(s) Name (in school and out): Ms. Heidi Thompson (art), Mr. Smallridge (choir), Ms. High (theatre).

Performing Arts Student of the Week: Sammie Shay

My name is Sammie Shay! I’m a junior in the BUHS marching and concert bands, pep band, drumline, BUHS soundwaves, and instrumental ensemble class. I play piano, flute and percussion, and am currently learning trombone.

I am a 4-H club member and teen leader. I attended the Toby Mac camp, Camp Electric this past summer. I played in the WVWC Honor Band and sang in the Elementary All State choir, Glenville Honor Choir and RCB Honor Choir. I have led worship songs in church on a number of occasions, along with doing special music for church. I performed in the Junie B Jones Jr musical and several church plays.

My accomplishments include Straight A Honor Roll from Kindergarten through 11th grade, National Elementary Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, WV star awards, drumline/percussion captain, marching captain, and Delaware Sag at younger 4-H camp.

I am a member of the BUHS swim and tennis teams. I attend Breath of God Worship service, Christian Fellowship Church, and am a part of the CFC youth group. I have also been a junior camp counselor at church camp.  

I am currently taking piano lessons.  Some of my hobbies include Irish Road Bowling, camping and reading.

The teachers that have helped to grow my love of music are Mr. Smallridge, Mr. Perske, Mr. And Mrs. High, Mrs. Walton, Mrs. Taylor, Mr. Friend, Jenny Pfister, Ashley Kump, Mr. Swanson, DJ Stout, Mr. Rosencrance, Mr. Williams, and Shelby Williams.

The arts are important to me because music has always been a part of my life. I can’t imagine my life without it, and I want my future to involve music. I want to learn everything about every kind of music! Music is also important to me because it is one of the main ways that I can connect to God. When I worship him in song, I feel so much closer to him.

I plan to go to college and major in music in some way. I hope to attend WVU, Ohio University or Glenville University.

Some of my favorite pieces that I’ve played are A Christmas Carol, all of the songs I played at the WVWC honor band concert, Washington Post, A Whole New World on piano, and Riversong. I also enjoyed acting as an ensemble character in the Junie B Jones Jr musical! 

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