The Artist: Ginny Trapani, Grass Valley
What is your career and your current job title? Performing arts teacher at Lyman Gilmore Middle School.
Describe in a sentence or two your art. As a teacher, musician and actor, I have the privilege of writing and directing musicals for middle school students (“There’s No Place Like Rome” was the most recent one). I also teach choir and dance.
How long have you been working in this discipline? I’ve been teaching for 21 years and writing musicals for 18.
Why do you do it? I love the students and I love the performing arts. It’s a wonderful combination that allows students to express themselves through artistic performance.
What do you hope to accomplish? I hope to continue writing a new musical every other year until I retire, and then … ?
Do you create your art with an exact message you want the viewer to receive and if yes, what is that message? While the musicals I write are usually comedies, they always carry a social message, most often about our responsibilities as members of the human race.
Plans for the future? I plan to continue this job for another seven or eight years; then, who knows?
What kind of special training did you take? I have a supplemented teaching credential and a lifetime of experience in the performing arts.
What’s your favorite part of your endeavors? I love to see the students find new power through the use of art and new confidence in their ability to hold the attention of an audience. The art part of my job truly is helping the students find what’s best in themselves as performers. I really do have the best job in the world!
What’s your least favorite part of your endeavors? It’s always disappointing when parents don’t realize the value of the program and the need for rehearsals to perfect the performance.
How many hours a day, or more appropriate, a week, do you spend on your work? My job is full time, but I also spend summers writing choral music for my choirs, as well as the new musical for the drama students every other year.
Do you consider it hard work and could anyone do it? It’s hard work, but very rewarding. No, not many people would have the knowledge to write the music or script or the ability to appreciate the unique beauty of middle school students.
Any other comments you’d like to include? I feel extremely fortunate to work in the Grass Valley School District where the electives program is so fully supported. I’m also blessed to belong to Rotary, which is always supportive of children the world over. Not many artists get the opportunity to work in such an enlightened community.
To suggest a creative talent who should be profiled in this feature, contact Pam Jung at firstname.lastname@example.org or 477-4232.
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