ArtSmart Students of Lincoln High School to Perform in District-Wide Showcase

By Logan Martell

On April 25, 2023, ArtSmart students from Lincoln High School will perform “True Colors” at the Jersey City Public School’s District-Wide Showcase.

The non-profit is dedicated to bringing musical education and performance opportunities to children from underserved communities. From Lincoln High School there are 15 students currently participating in the program, receiving voice and mentorship lessons from ArtSmart mentor Carmen Cancél. The school currently has a single music instructor in Crissa Dragotti, who teaches keyboard, guitar, music exploration, and drum line.

“It’s incredibly beneficial for the students to learn to collaborate and listen to one another,” said Cancél in an official press statement. “It’s been fun to watch them take ownership of their vocal parts (three-part harmony) as they memorize and rehearse together. The camaraderie and encouragement they gain from working together is a huge plus.”

“I have seen students who had low confidence blossom over the last few months,” added Dragotti. “There are students who were failing because of attendance, who are now coming to school in order to participate; and applying themselves in class so that their teachers allow them to attend the ArtSmart program.”

The students’ enthusiasm has led to them being invited to represent Lincoln High School at the showcase. They will perform the song “True Colors,” written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, and sung by Cyndi Lauper. Cancél hopes to be able to expand the program for next year and create a vocal theatre program to allow the students more opportunity for musical collaboration.