Performing Arts Center Theater Opens at CPMA

Gallery: Images from the CPMA Ribbon Cutting Ceremony November 18, 2014 [7 Images] Click any image to expand.

Creative, Performing & Media Arts Middle School Dedication Ceremony

I guess I was a little shocked when I visited the Creative, Performing & Media Arts Middle School Dedication Ceremony.  The list of speakers was to be expected, Principal Scott Thomason spoke eloquently of how this new center was a long time in the making.  Dr John Lee Evans, SDUSD Board of Education Trustee reiterated how this was all part of the Vision2020, Quality School in Every Neighborhood.  Abby Hickman a Student at CPMA expressed her love of the arts and how excited she is to the be the first generation to perform in such a magnificent theater.  Abby’s mom, as well as a teacher at CPMA Cathy Hickman, expressed how this will bring the neighborhood together and the entire city together through the arts.

It wasn’t the building that shocked me, no doubt it is impressive (we’ll get to that) but rather the students, 6th,7th & 8th graders.   After the ribbon cutting I was expecting a tour, which we received, what I was not expecting was a performance, a diverse sampling of the various arts programs.

·         The choir performed a flawless performance of “Home” a song currently well known on the local radio stations.

·         A group of roughly 35 students played an instrumental version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

·         Two students on the giant stage captivated the audience as they recited Hamlet, Act III, scene i.

·         The next performance was like going back in time listening to the students perform the Theme from Peter Gunn, the horns, the bass it was amazing.

·         There was a CPMA video collage which captured  students just being themselves.

·         Lastly a Good Time dance number which brought the energy up in the theater as the mini talent showcase came to its conclusion.

The 432 seat theatre is impressive, all state of the art.  A deep enough stage so that the show will go on without ever knowing things are happening behind the many layers during any performance.  The acoustics, the mechanical systems and catwalks seamlessly integrated virtually hidden.

There is a dedicated ticket booth at the front of the building.  A control room run by the students which we were told was the most high tech, at the moment, in San Diego.  From the dressing room, to the music classrooms and even something as mundane as a loading dock feet from the stage for ease of moving scenes or musical instruments and equipment.

You would think nothing of the building as you approach the front doors from the parking lot. However, it is designed for outdoor performances with multiple layers or landings: performers on the top level, maybe the musicians below and the final landing for the  audience.  I thought nothing of it as I was entering the building, but as it was pointed out at the end of the tour it is brilliant.

This theater performing arts center has put Clairemont on the map.  I will never look at that building the same way again.  But it is the talent performing inside the building that is the real star, I am guessing we will be seeing and hearing more from the alumni of CPMA in years to come.

To learn more about the CPMA Middle School visit 5050 Conrad Ave, San Diego, 92117 or call (858) 800-5550.

For more pictures of the performances and the tour, visit:

Sign up to receive the latest news direct to your inbox

Previous articleIs It Soup Weather Yet?
Next articleHow Does Clairemont Celebrate Christmas?