Written by guest author and CPLS junior Ellia Morse
The CPLS Fine Arts Festival arrives once a year and it is the culmination of the creativity and classical education of the previous year. On two cold Thursday and Friday mornings, you can walk into the Topeka Bible Church buildings and hear the instruments tuning, voices warming- up, and pass people reciting their speeches. A nervous energy but ready energy emanates from every performer and from the crowd, their friends, parents, and teachers cheer them on.
Christian schools from the surrounding Kansas area—as far as Wichita—come to compete in the festival which Cair Paravel hosts. The competition between all of the schools creates an atmosphere for students to pursue excellence; Professional rhetoricians, musicians, and artists offer praises and critiques. Students perform anything from excerpts from Common Sense by Thomas Paine to Who’s On First by Abbott and Costello. There are also visual arts competitions where students can enter anything from photography to wood-carvings to prints. Pieces are judged within categories such as concept, technique, and presentation.
Only the students in Cair Paravel’s rhetoric and choir classes are required to enter but almost everyone enjoys engaging in the community. When one student was asked why they participate, they responded that they enjoy performing in the Fine Arts Festival because it gives them the opportunity to do what they love while glorifying God. Through winning and losing, everything is done to reflect the beauty of God.