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Averitt youth registration starts Monday in Statesboro
Sign-up for fall programs to begin
Averitt Center logo

            Youth programs at the Averitt Center for the Arts are looking forward to a strong year. 
            “We are continuing to offer high quality, exciting programs for people of all ages to experience the arts,” said Tony Phillips, the center’s programs director. “This year, under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Aceto, we are adding a formalized strings program, including a Youth Strings Ensemble and a Chamber Orchestra, to our lineup of youth arts programs.”
            Registration for all Averitt Center youth programs begins this week. Returning students should register this Monday through Friday, and new students should register July 21 and 22. Registration is in the main gallery from 4:30–6:30 pm each day.
            This is an opportunity for parents and students to meet instructors and other students in person. Some program placement may require a brief instructor assessment.

    Music and dance
            The Statesboro Youth Strings Program, directed by Aceto, will offer both private lessons and ensemble performance opportunities both for children and adults. The performance opportunities will include a Youth Strings Ensemble, directed Abby Thompson, and an auditioned Statesboro Chamber Orchestra, directed by Aceto. 
            Experienced adults and youth wishing to audition for the Chamber Orchestra should set up an audition by calling (912) 212-2787. This program is open to both strings and woodwind instruments.
            The Statesboro Youth Ballet, under the direction of Jurijs Safonovs, is looking forward to an exciting year. Safonovs grew up in Riga, Latvia, and was trained under the internationally acclaimed Vaganova system. New ballet teacher Jana Shivers holds a B.A. in dance from Belhaven University and was awarded the Bezelel Award for Artistic Achievement in 2012 by the Belhaven dance faculty. Additional faculty members include Ryan Marsh, Kaye Miller and Mathyn Miller. 
            The Youth Ballet season will be highlighted by the opportunity to audition and perform with Neos Dance Theatre in the October production of “Count … the Legend of Dracula,” a youth programs production of “Christmas Around the World” and a spring production of the full-length comedic ballet “Coppélia.” The group will also perform fall and spring showcases and at several events in Statesboro and surrounding communities.
            The Statesboro Youth Chorale, under the direction of Sarah Hancock, is celebrating incredible summer concert experiences with the Vox Novum and Allegro Choirs performing in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, and the Bel Canto Choir performing in the American Choir Directors Association Summer Treble Choir Concert at Clayton State University’s Spivey Hall.
            The Youth Chorale offers choral experiences for children in first grade through high school. New this year is a Boys Choir for boys in middle and high school with music teacher Nick Flott. The Youth Chorale also offers the Claxton Youth Singers satellite program for children in third through fifth grades. This year, the chorale welcomes Dr. Lucy Santos Green as the Seraphim Choir director and Gigi Naeve as the director of the Claxton Youth Singers. Accompanists are Cindy Marshall and Wemberly Ponder.

    Theater and visual arts
            The Statesboro Youth Theater, under the direction of Mical Whitaker, also welcomes a new instructor and expanded class offerings. Jackie Gordon will teach theater classes for children in kindergarten through high school and beyond. Participants will benefit from self-discovery, memorization, improvisation, writing and technical skills. Students will build performance skills in class and will have the chance to audition for the fall production of “Hansel and Gretel” and the spring production of “Forgiven, a Fairy Tale.” 
            The Youth Visual Arts program, under the direction of Kim Riner, is also experiencing strong growth. This year, three new instructors join Riner to offer classes in introductory studio arts, drawing, painting, and a variety of ceramics classes. Scott Foxx, Claudia Furlow and Cierra Willingham each have or are working on advanced art degrees and careers as working artists.
           Art After Hours is a structured after-school program that ensures kids finish their homework, have a snack and explore different areas of the arts, including comics, science fiction, poetry, creative writing, theater and acting, music and singing, and creative movement. Staff members include Anastasia James, Peyton Gardner, and William Sack. Staff will ensure that children who participate in other Averitt Youth Programs get to classes or private lessons at the correct time, saving parents a great deal of time and stress.
            Art After Hours also offers camps during winter and spring breaks. Children from all public and private schools are welcome. Children who attend public school within the Statesboro city limits and attend Art After Hours daily can ride the school bus to the Averitt Center.
            At registration, parents should be prepared to pay a one-time $10 registration fee and the first month’s tuition for each program in which their children participate. Enthusiast Level members of the Friends of the Arts receive discounts on tuition. Program T-shirt order forms will be available as well.
            For more information regarding fall registration, call Tony Phillips at (912) 212-2787 or visit

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