by Melissa Shephard, associate writer
A FEW OF THE TEACHERS involved in Perry Fine Arts are: (from left): Barb Darling, Bobbi Pangborn, Katie Howard and Ty Rockafellow. (Courtesy Photo
Ty Rockafellow, a lifetime Perry resident and Perry High School graduate, has launched a new program called perryarts.org. This program, open to anyone in the surrounding areas not just Perry, includes local musicians, artists and teachers. Rockafellow, a Hartland Elementary music teacher, piano teacher, and choir teacher, realized that the Perry area was lacking in the arts. He started the organization by launching the website – perryarts.org – and recruiting some friends from his church, who are local musicians and artists.
The goal of “Perry Fine Arts” is to provide opportunities for people in and around Perry to learn about and enjoy the fine arts (music, art, drama, etc.). The group is passionate about using the arts as a tool for building their community, and for enriching lives. They are eager to see how the arts can be used to improve the community.
Currently, the group is in the process of renovating a leased space in downtown Perry where classes will be held. Classes are expected to start in the fall. They are also in the process of trying to get a dance company to share the space. Along with Rockafellow, the other primary teachers are Katie Howard and Barb Darling.
Information is available regarding an upcoming Fine Arts Summer Camp on the group’s website. The camp is for children grades first through sixth, running June 20-23; and a children’s choir for children in grades third through sixth, with two sessions at the end of the year.
Rockafellow attended Michigan State University, where he received his K-12 music education certification, his early childhood music certification, and his elementary music certification. He is currently a elementary music teacher and choir director in the Hartland school district. He maintains a piano studio in Perry, where he resides with his wife and three daughters.