On Saturday, Mar. 25, Alma College hosted a performance highlighting the Highland Arts. This showcase included performances from the Alma College Pipe Band, the Kiltie Dance Company and the Belle Valley Community Band as guest artists.
The Highland Arts performance was directed by Allison Murad, a 2009 graduate of Alma College who is a British Association of Teachers of Dancing certified Highland Dance instructor.
Directing the pipe band portion was Andrew Duncan, who has won many awards across the country for his bagpipe performances.
The theme for this year’s Highland Arts concert was Disney, which consisted of pieces from many Walt Disney films. Some of the pieces include songs from movies such as The Princess and The Frog, Hercules, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Mulan, Tangled, Moana, and Lilo and Stitch.
All dances were choreographed by students of the Kiltie Dance Company. “Having the theme be Disney allows everyone to be creative while also creating an exciting show for the audience. I think it is also really cool that we can perform with the pipe band and showcase all of the Highland Arts,” said Katie Tallmann (’25).
Tallmann danced a solo to “Almost There”, a group piece as one of the Muses from Hercules and a piece with the complete dance company as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Tallmann has been involved in highland dancing since she was three years old as her mother was an instructor. “I enjoy being able to be a part of something from my heritage. I also like how there are so many levels of highland dance throughout competitions and it really is something you can be involved in for your whole life,” said Tallmann.
Katie Steih (’23) greatly looked forward to the show before its premiere.
“I’m really excited for this show because it’s what we had originally planned to do before COVID shut everything down. I love how Kilties lets us explore what highland can be outside of the traditional dances,” said Steih.
Cameron Goldie (’23) performed in pieces from Snow White and Hercules, as well as Tangled and Mulan pieces which she also choreographed.
“Since this will be my senior Highland Arts Concert, I’m most excited to see everything we’ve all put together and have a great time in my last show,” said Goldie.
“I also have a solo in the show, which I actually choreographed back in 2020 for our spring show when I was a freshman, however I never got to perform it due to COVID. [With] that being said, finally doing my solo is definitely something I’m looking forward to most,” said Goldie.
McKenna Lindsay (’24) participated in the Snow White group dance, along with performing a solo as Moana to “Where You Are”. Lindsay also performed as Lilo in a duet with Brenna Kilby (’24) to “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride”.
“I have been Highland dancing since I was three years old and have been a member of the Kiltie dance company since being at Alma,” said Lindsay.
“What I enjoy most about dancing is the feeling I get on stage. There is no better feeling than the lights hitting your face and getting to reflect that same brightness with my smile back to an audience,” said Lindsay.
The Alma College Pipe Band, comprised entirely of students and faculty of the college, performed with the Belle Valley Community Band. This is just one of many performances that the two bands have collaborated on together.
If people are looking to celebrate Scottish heritage in the near future, Alma College will be collaborating with the city of Alma to host the Highland Festival on Memorial Day weekend, May 27 and 28.