The Fall Variety Show has certainly become an established tradition here at The Hudson Valley Sudbury School. Each year we have more acts, the kids are more prepared, and there are more moments that I can’t hold back the tears. This year was no exception; on multiple occasions tears streaked down my face, and I wasn’t alone. There is something magical about the Variety Show for me. In the past it was because I was proud, as it’s a shining example of what happens when you give kids the space to become passionate people doing what they love, and it was because I have watched these kids grow up and was in awe of their talent and bravery. All of those things are still true, but this year...well, this year was different. This year the tears were because of the very clear community that was established amongst the performers. The show wasn’t about individuals solely focusing on their own act but about the group genuinely celebrating and supporting each performer to the fullest extent. When one student suddenly wasn’t able to perform another jumped in and learned her part of a duet – in one day. Eccentric dances and songs were celebrated with hoots and hollers and exuberant high fives. What really got me? The teenagers so enthusiastically belting out "She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain" for a five-year-old’s sweet dance. Tell me, where else does that happen?
I am so thankful for this community. Please excuse the shaky camera, I promise next year I will use a tripod in anticipation of even more tears.
-- Vanessa Van Burek
[Ed. Each title below links to a page for the individual performance.]