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Multimedia Package Produced by Timmy Nesbitt and Gracie Johnson - Spring 2015

Adee, Johnson and Vande Velde share musical, artistic talents

(May 22, 2015)

Feature Story, Photos and News Package Produced by Timmy Nesbitt and Gracie Johnson, Junior High Journalism Students




Silver Lake has students who excel in sports, but many students thrive in extracurricular activities as well. Eight-Graders Gracie Johnson and Joshua Adee, as well as Seventh-Grader Lyndsey Vande Velde, are students who display different talents.

“I dream my painting, and I paint my dream!”

Johnson paints in her free time. She takes painting lessons from her granny, Alma Banning. Banning is also a really good artist. Banning does the painting and shows Johnson how to do it, and Johnson repeats. Johnson has been painting since she was 10- years-old. She said she saw all of Banning’s paintings of animals and scenery and decided to try it.

“I want to be as talented as my granny because she does amazing work. I want to be as artistic as her,” Johnson stated.

Johnson takes lessons from Banning at Banning’s apartment. Johnson likes to paint scenery, flowers, and animals.

“I like to paint scenery, flowers, and animals because they are easy things to paint. I hope to improve my skills and paint more challenging paintings, like humans, in the future,” Johnson said.

Music can change the world because it can change people. Adee is very musical. He plays piano, violin, clarinet, and trumpet. Adee said he would go to a concert and would listen and want to play like the musicians. Alisa Ramer was Adee’s first music teacher.

“She was really good and her husband taught piano lessons, too, but I learned from her,” Adee said.

Adee’s goal is to get better. He said he wants to play like the people he listens to. Adee started playing when he was 5-years- old. He explained how he feels when he performs.

“I feel nervous at first, but afterwards I feel pretty good,” Adee said.

The Piano Guys, an American musical group, inspire Adee. Adee said he likes playing piano the best because it sounds fuller. Peter Ruby, Silver Lake High School alumnus, is Adee’s piano teacher now.

”I like to play music because you can have fun with it and be creative with it,” Adee said.

Vande Velde, seventh-grader, not only excels in sports but in activities off of the court and track. Vande Velde is a talented singer. She explained why she likes singing.

“I like singing because I can express myself through music,” she said.

Vande Velde’s grandfather was also a very talented singer. She explained who provides her musical inspiration.

“My musical inspiration is my grandpa because he was a really good singer, and he’s taught me a lot," she said. 

Luke Bryan, a country singer who is Vande Velde’s favorite artist, has taught her a lot. Vande Velde shared her favorite song.

“My favorite song is ‘God Gave Me You’ by Blake Shelton because it really has a lot of meaning in it," she said.



(Photo 1) Eighth-Grader Gracie Johnson creates a painting. (Photo by Timmy Nesbitt)

(Photo 2) Eighth-Grader Joshua Adee practices a music piece for an upcoming concert. (Photo by Gracie Johnson)

(Photo 3) Seventh-Grader Lyndsey Vande Velde rehearses with her classmates for a choir concert on May 5. (Photo by Timmy Nesbitt)