South seniors pursue arts, turn passions into career paths

Gina Kim, staff writer

Whether in cramped orchestra rehearsals to brightly lit stages, or on the slim margins of math assignments to broad white canvases, the arts find a home within South, and especially within the students who plan to take their talents beyond the high school level. As seniors set their sights on post-high school life, some decide that fine arts electives just aren’t enough– they plan to take their passion for the arts into college and their careers.

Senior Stephen Sholty finds himself as one of South’s aspiring artists. A current AP Art student, Sholty discovered his love for art while he was young, and in a pencil and paper.

“I’ve started drawing probably when I was three… and I’ve just kind of been doing it ever since,” Sholty said.

According to Sholty, his love for drawing collided with his love of comic books, and he sought to emulate the comic book style, which contributed to his aspiration of becoming a professional illustrator or animator. He has already taken his dream beyond just art class assignments and has worked on illustrations within a novel.

“I hope to be able to incorporate [art] into whatever I eventually do,” Sholty said.

According to Sholty, he plans to focus on illustration after high school, and was admitted to Savannah College of Art and Design.

Like Sholty, senior Benjamin Friedland has found a strong pull to his own art: music. Friedland has been playing the upright bass for nine years, and has played in South’s orchestra, jazz band, Variety Show, and musical throughout his high school career, all of which these, he believes has helped bring his love of music to light.

“My mom chose [the bass] for me… [and] at a younger age, you don’t really have motivation [for playing an instrument and such],” Friedland said. “But in the past three years, I really got into [bass] and really like it.”

Friedland plans to attend a musical conservatory or major in music, and was inspired to join a film orchestra for movie soundtracks by the movies themselves.

“You have to be the best of the best to play [in film orchestras],” Friedland said. “But if you really hear [the movie], you hear all the music behind it… I [was in an] actual studio [when an orchestra] was playing, and I thought, ‘Wow, this is really cool’.”

Sholty and Friedland seek to further their talents by focusing their studies on their art of choice after high school. However, not all students deeply engaged in South’s arts see a future in music or fine arts.

Senior Becky Pavchinsky has played piano for 15 years, performing in the school’s orchestra and musical programs, but also outside of school for a Mary Poppins production alongside Aaron Kaplan, Glenbrook Symphony Orchestra assistant director, according to Pavchinsky.

“I’m a third generation classical pianist,” Pavchinsky said. “I come from a long line of musicians… and if something’s chosen for you when you’re three, you learn to love it.”

Despite her deep involvement in music, Pavchinsky aims to be a doctor rather than a professional pianist. According to Pavchinsky, when she had the choice to enter high school or to become home-schooled and pursue piano, she chose school.

“[Music] takes this sort of drive that I just have elsewhere [in science and academics],” Pavchinsky said.