For the second year, Tyler ISD’s Robert E. Lee High School showcased its visual and fine arts programs during the Masterpiece Dinner Theater.
The event, held Thursday, featured students from multiple programs, including dance, theater, band, voice and orchestra.
The school’s culinary arts students prepared and served the dinner, and the construction class students made the table centerpieces. The event took place outside in the school’s interior courtyard.
PTA members set up round tables and strung lights from the trees to create a garden party atmosphere.
Artwork created by Lee students was hung along the sidewalk leading into the courtyard so visitors could peruse the pieces on the way in.
Performance highlights included senior Katie Sperry’s vocal performance of “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” the saxophone quartet’s performance of “Just for Show” and Abigail Jorden and Austin Davis’ violin and cello duet of “Passacaglia.”
Lee PTA parent Louise Arnold, one of the event’s key organizers, said every student has their talents and gifts, and this event provides them with an opportunity to display those.
The organizers intentionally did not invite the students’ parents. The thought is that their parents can come to any of the individual arts program performances.
Instead, they invited about 100 people from the community who they wanted to see the students’ abilities and the opportunities available at Lee.
“I hope that they left here saying, ‘I had no idea,’ and that they left here saying it was better than last year,” she said.
The hope is to grow the event in the coming years possibly adding a second night for students to come and watch their peers, Mrs. Arnold said.
Davis, 16, said it’s always fun to perform for the community and show them what he and his peers are working on at school. Davis has played the cello for six years, starting at Hubbard.
Junior Mallory Hallmark, 17, is a theater student and performed a song with two of her peers. She said she liked the diversity of the event because a variety of arts were featured.
Culinary arts instructor Leslie Rasco said about 80 students helped prepare for the meal over the course of one week.
She chose dishes that would showcase what the students have learned throughout the year.
The meal had a Greek theme that included appetizers with Tzatziki sauce and a hummus trio, an entr￩e of rosemary and lemon Cornish hen on saffron rice with a creamy mushroom sauce, Greek salad in a ripe tomato and three types of baklava.