Western Kentucky University will showcase student talent this weekend with year-end performances from the theater and dance and music departments.

“It’s the culmination of things they’ve been working on over the course of a semester,” said David Young, who heads WKU’s Department of Theater and Dance. “They have a lot invested in them.”

About 150 student musicians will perform holiday favorites like Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” and Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” in Van Meter Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Friday for “Holidays on the Hill.” Tickets are $15 or $6 for students and faculty.

“It’s our gift back to the community,” said Dr. Brian St. John, WKU professor and symphony conductor.

WKU dance students will twirl across the Russell H. Miller Theater stage at 7 p.m. Saturday for “Last Chance to Dance.” It’s an annual, informal showcase of choreography, works-in-progress and physical artistry. Admission is free, and donations are accepted.

“It’s the work of our dance students, both choreographing and performing,” Young said. “I’m always impressed when I go.”

A faculty-student “storytelling” group hoping to educate children and families about international culture and history will perform “Where in the World.” There are performances Friday at 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Lab Theater in Gordon Wilson Hall. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under.

To purchase tickets and to learn more, visit wku.showare.com or contact the WKU Fine Arts Box Office Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. at 270-745-3121. All seating is general admission.

This week and next, there will also be smaller, informal showcases, including the Musical Theatre Voice Recital at Rollings Studio on Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; the Dance Class Showcase on Thursday from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Gordon Wilson Hall Dance Studio 200A (with limited seating), and the Directing I Class Final Scenes on Dec. 11 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Gordon Wilson Hall’s Lab Theater.

For students, final performances, artwork or even papers tend to impart practical experience while enhancing information retention. And faculty members can witness the semester-by-semester growth in the individual students, according to Young.

He hopes the community will join the department for the upcoming fine arts performances and support the hardworking students.

“The arts add to the quality of a community,” Young said. “At its heart, (art) is good for you.”

– Follow reporter Caroline Eggers on Twitter @eggers dailynews or visit bgdaily news.com.

– Follow reporter Caroline Eggers on Twitter @eggersdailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.

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