Performing arts offer haven

Published 2:20 pm Saturday, February 14, 2009

If you believe everything you hear, America and the world are in deep trouble.

There’s need for grave concern and worry. In times of trouble many turn to unhealthy escapes. However, some find relief in the arts, as did those living during some of history’s darkest times: the Holocaust and the Great Depression.

In Psalms 33:1-3 God offers advice:

“Rejoice in the Lord … Praise the Lord with the harp: make melody to Him on an instrument of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song. Play skillfully with a shout of joy.”

Now, I’m not suggesting that you be like Nero, who fiddled while Rome burned, nor like the violinist who played while Titanic sank to her watery grave.

Sometimes turning off the TV news and turning on music brings relief. One local church in fact, is helping make performing arts a refuge in our community.

The North Shelby Baptist School of Performing Arts (SOPA) is a ministry of North Shelby Baptist Church, located seven miles south of I-459 on Highway 280 East near the Narrows. The school has been teaching private music lessons and several group classes to children and adults since 2005, and is a cultural center and valuable resource to North Shelby.

The faculty of SOPA offers a combined 120 years teaching experience, and takes pride in developing and enhancing the natural gifts God has given its students. One of their voice students won a national vocal award in 2008.

This spring semester SOPA is offering a variety of private music lessons, including piano, voice, guitar, violin, viola, cello, drums and percussion. Plus, they offer group classes in art, kindermusik (age 1-6), tumbling, drama, ballet and tap.

“We have a place for you,” director Susane Parsons said.

Classes in the arts provide many ways to grow, including coordination, poise, creativity and confidence. These weekly classes meet at the North Shelby Baptist Church and last from 45-60 minutes each.

Call Susane Parsons 259-2640 for more information, or visit