Posted: June 19, 2018
Three HIU alumni -- Gina DeSon (BA ’15), Erin Koshay (BM ’14) and Ember Williams (BM ’00) -- share a common passion for the performing arts, especially for kids. Together they founded SPERO Program for the Performing Arts, a youth theatre program that provides youth with year-round opportunities and extensive participation in the annual HIU Spring Musical. The mission of SPERO is to build community, foster character development, and encourage creative potential for youth in Fullerton by providing an experience in theatre education and performance in a Christian college environment.
“SPERO is Latin for hope,” Erin explains. “The word hope has meant a lot to each of us (Ember, Gina, and myself) throughout our personal lives and spiritual journeys, not to mention the name of our alma mater. And because the word sounds like ‘sparrow,’ we also were drawn to SPERO’s imagery of the song bird. A sparrow always lives in community with other sparrows. It is our hope that SPERO can be a source of hope in our students’ lives.”
During the week of June 11, 2018, SPERO held its inaugural 5-day Summer Performing Arts Camp on HIU’s Fullerton campus. The camp was open to students in grades 2-12. Campers received instruction and education in singing, dancing and acting, as well as exposure to specialty areas such as sound & lighting, stage makeup, and audition preparation. The 36 campers in attendance ended the week by performing a mini-musical showcase for friends and family.
“Our overall goals for putting on the summer camp are to supply a non-competitive opportunity for any level of student to participate in performing arts activities, and to provide beginner level performing arts education,” says Koshay, a SPERO co-founder. “We believe God placed this on our hearts…and here we are!”
SPERO is not just a summer camp program. Their calendar also includes a fall musical production for youth ages 7-18, and the HIU Spring Musical. In the future, SPERO hopes to provide more opportunities for theatre education through classes, private lessons, and workshops.
For more information on SPERO, contact Ember Williams.