Students expand arts skills at Governor’s School (...

Students expand arts skills at Governor’s School (+VIDEO)

Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts director Raphael Bundage called it “a once in a lifetime experience” for the 261 high school students who participated in this year’s event on the MTSU campus.

Junior Chanhee Hwang of Knoxville, Tenn., a violin player who is a student at Bearden High School, called Governor’s School “life-changing,” explaining that instructors helped change his outlook toward music.

“If you come here, you’ll feel what it’s like to be touched by music,” Hwang said.

Madison Hopkins, a student at Summit High School in Thompson’s Station, Tenn., who lives in nearby Franklin, said it was “an amazing four weeks.” She added that she and the other students were able to enjoy “a lot more professional dance opportunities and we’ve grown in the knowledge of dance as well.”

Watch video from this year’s Governor’s School for the Arts below.

The rising high school juniors and seniors from across Tennessee spent four weeks on campus between June 2-28 working in various art forms, including dance, filmmaking, theater, music and the visual arts.

The preprofessional summer program provides arts education for gifted and talented Tennessee students and includes field trips. Student spent about four hours daily, six days a week, working in their major areas of concentration.

Bundage said it was a “very, very busy four weeks,” adding that this year’s attendees were “the brightest, best, most talented students” from across the state.

“We had an extraordinary year.”

Highlights this year included performances by the Nashville Opera, internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Mary Ann McCormick, the Nashville Ballet’s play “Anne Frank,” “SandStory” by Joe Castillo and a maestro class with Nashville Symphony conductor Giancarlo Guerrero.

For more information on the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, visit or call 615-898-2223.

— Randy Weiler (


2013 Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts students enjoy visiting in the Wright Music Building lobby. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

2013 Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts theatre students rehearse their play before the finale.