The School of Arts hosted a banquet in honor of students and faculty who have thrived in the music, dance, theatre and art & design programs on March 27 at Centre Stage.

“It is always a privilege to be around those who are high achievers,” said K. Newell Dayley, dean of the School of Arts. “For you high achievers we say thank you. … This is all for you.”

A handful of students from the various art programs were given awards of merit, Outstanding Student Awards and Valedictorian awards.

Alyssa Y. Liu, a music performance senior, was awarded the Outstanding Student Award for music. She was described by Donna Fairbanks, music department chair, as a student with a high GPA, someone who put in a lot of work hours in the chairs office and has served in various choirs and operas. After accepting her award, Lui preformed Je Veux Vivre from Romeo et Juliette by Charles Gounod. “

She performs with such grace,” said Fairbanks. “You’ll get to see what all the fuss is about.”

After her performance, Lui received an overwhelming applause.“That was truly exquisite,” said Courtney Davis, assistant professor and future chair of Art & Design.

After the applause had died down and Lui had taken a seat, Davis began to award the art & design students their awards of excellence.

“This award is for a student who has proven themselves in all areas,” said Davis as she announced that Sergey Khrushchev, art & design senior, was awarded the Outstanding Student Award. “[Sergey] is a rising star and is always talked about in the department,” said Davis.

Khrushchev moved to the U.S. from the Ukraine seven years ago. During those seven years, Khrushchev has worked hard to feature many of his art pieces in the UVU art shows, will graduate with a four-year degree and his upcoming BFA will be showcased at the Woodbury Museum.

After the students were given their awards and the recipients of the Outstanding Student Award showcased their talents, Dayley came back to the stage. He awarded Sarah Donohue, assistant professor of dance, the dean’s Faculty Recognition Award.

“Sarah is an educator’s-educator. She is a great teacher, choreographer and inventor. … Plus, she is just vibrant.” said Dayley. “The piece she choreographed at the Kennedy Center was spellbinding. … We left dumbfounded. … She is great and we recognize her for that greatness.”

Jeffrey E. Olsen, senior vice President of academic affairs, expressed his gratitude for the art programs and the people involved. “In this age, it seems that the arts are forgotten,” said Olsen. “[But] what a difference the arts make in [our] world.”

The crowd applauds Alyssa Y. Liu after her performance of Je Veux Vivre from Romeo et Juliette (Julie Ostler/UVU Review)

Alyssa Y. Liu performing Je Veux Vivre from Romeo et Juliette after receiving the Outstanding Student Award in music. (Julie Ostler/UVU Review)