CENTREVILLE — While COVID-19 has been the major topic of discussion over the past month, the visual and performing artists in Queen Anne’s County Public Schools continue bringing smiles to everyone’s faces, said Michael Bell, supervisor of visual and performing arts.

“They remind us all that there’s still much to have ‘high hopes’ about, despite the many hardships families may be facing. And, there’s no one better equipped to bring out those smiles than our talented children and teachers,” Bell said.

In an encore performance to “Times Like These” that dropped on the QACPS YouTube Channel, children of all ages banded together with performing arts teachers to sing and dance to the song “High Hopes” by Panic! At the Disco.

The video starts with Bell promoting his teachers’ great accomplishments this year at a Feb. 8 broadcast on TV Delmarva’s Coastal A&E with host Michael Sprouse, while sharing an important message for his teachers to “stay artists.”

From there, a talented young singer from Bayside Elementary kicks off “High Hopes,” joined by 2020 Teacher of the Year finalist Amber Wright, Kent Island High School senior dance star Abby Scaggs, and late in the video Gabby Pfeifer — 2020 All-State Award-winning dancer —makes a grand appearance.

“Despite the pandemic, our children are still taking to the streets with inspiring messages as sidewalk chalk drawings, making personal art as tribute pieces to our healthcare heroes, and performing through creative mediums of song and dance,” Bell said.

“I believe our teachers and students will continue to sound that message loud and proud for all to hear — that the arts are still thriving in Queen Anne’s County,” he said. “Our hope is simply to bring smiles to those in need, and challenge others to stay creative throughout all this.”

Queen Anne’s County Public Schools recently was awarded “2020 Best Communities for Music Education,” and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Andrea Kane said, “The art scene is exploding in Queen Anne’s County.”

“These past two weeks, even throughout this pandemic — it’s been exploding with creativity and with hope — ‘High Hopes,’” Bell said.

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