The Fine Arts play a prominent role within the Byron Center Public Schools district. Students take music and art classes as part of our curriculum, and are also encouraged to participate in a variety of extra-curricular activities to further develop their creative talents. In support of the arts within our schools and community, the district opened the Van Singel Fine Arts Center in 1998, one of the first of its kind in the nation.
Curricular and co-curricular opportunities include music, choir, visual arts and Suzuki violin lessons in the elementary grades. Intermediate students have art, choir and beginning orchestra available within their school day at 5th grade. By 6th grade, our curriculum allows students to take choir, orchestra, or first year band in addition to an exploratory visual art class. Choir, orchestra, band, and the visual arts continue to be available in the 7th and 8th grades of Middle School as well.
High school offers an abundance of opportunities for students to grow in the arts ranging from the visual arts (i.e. 2D and 3D Art/Design, Illustration, Sculpture, Pottery, Drawing/Painting, Audio-Video I/II, Computer Graphics I/II, and Advanced Media), to the performing arts (i.e. Women's Chorus, Concert Choir, Vocal Expressions, Theatre Arts I-IV, Marching Band, Jazz Band, and Orchestra). To support our fine arts course offerings, BCHS offers many art studios, a photography dark room, a recording studio, a television studio, a band room, a choir room, a theatre, an art gallery, rehearsal rooms and ancillary rooms. Our students' appreciation for the arts is reflected in the fact that 84 percent of our high school student body is involved in the fine arts program.
Byron Center Public Schools is home to the Kent Career Technical Center’s Regional Theatre Technology Program. Junior and Senior students from throughout Kent County attend classes at BCHS and the Van Singel to learn backstage technical skills working as stagehands, in lighting and sound technology, costume construction, make up, and set construction. The professional off-Broadway touring productions at the Van Singel give students specialized hand-on experience in a school-to-career program working along side seasoned backstage crews.
Students shine on stage at the Van Singel Fine Arts Center more than 50 times each school year. These student productions and activities include youth from Byron Center Public Schools, Byron Center Christian Schools, and out-of district students. This is the same stage graced by the likes of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Dick Van Patten of the Sunshine Boys, Rita Collidge, The Lettermen, Branford Marsalis and Ed Asner. Hundreds more students are also exposed to a variety of professional shows attending productions from the Grand Rapids Circle Presents, touring off-Broadway production workshops, and the United State Air Force Band to name just a few.