Guest Review from a Smith Center Student Ambassador

Education and Outreach

Smith Center Student Ambassador Michelle Ray Shares Her Insights from Recent Performances

Education is in our DNA at The Smith Center, which is why our nonprofit provides opportunities throughout the year to bridge younger generations with the performing arts.

This includes The Smith Center’s new Student Ambassador program, helping engage Southern Nevada high school students who love the arts.

Student ambassadors participate in a variety of special arts education experiences through The Smith Center, including attending performances in our theaters and participating in workshops tailored to their interests.

Student Ambassador Michelle Ray, an 11th grader involved with music, dance and theater at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, has fully embraced this program — not only attending a variety of music and dance performances, but also analyzing how each show’s performers can inspire her own artistry.

Hear directly from the next generation of arts lovers below, with Michelle sharing her reviews of recent performances at The Smith Center.

The Piano Guys

With over a billion views and 6 million subscribers on YouTube, The Piano Guys has taken the internet by storm. Four middle-aged dads from St. George, Utah have brought music to a whole new level with viral videos combining classical with today's latest tunes. Just a few examples include transforming Variations of Bach and The Jackson 5 into “I Want You Bach,” or playing “Kung Fu Panda” on a grand piano at the Great Wall of China.

The Piano Guys’ concert at The Smith Center in late January was just as memorable.

The night was filled with endless dad jokes, video projections and special local guest artists. Not only was this a show for all ages, but these guys have a unique way of captivating an audience — making it the ultimate concert. This group is definitely a must-see for all music nerds.

As I’m a music major at the local performing arts high school, it is important to go out into the community and support fellow musicians and learn from them.

The Smith Center’s Student Ambassador program gave me this wonderful opportunity at this concert. Not only was I bopping my head to Tchaikovsky, but I gained so much information on performance, composing, musicality and punchlines.

Steven Nelson, the cellist with The Piano Guys, said one piece of advice that I will never forget: “As a musician I know what it’s like. There are days you sound like [instrument shrieking] and you say to yourself ‘oh geez.’ But I promise you, it gets better. Just stick with it. I believe in you!”

Overall, I would definitely see this group again. It’s much better than sitting through a piano recital where everyone plays Für Elise.


Unlike any dance show I have ever seen, Pilobolus was ultimately breathtaking. From beginning to end of this late January performance, I was on the edge of my seat.

With gravity defying elements and peculiar projections, these performers test the limits of the human body. With its incredible cast, everyone can tell how much trust they have with one another through all their precise yet smooth movements.

The performers and choreography are so unique, it is one of those shows that is enjoyable going in, even without having any knowledge about what to expect from the performance. The show was truly an astounding piece of art and it depicted what humans can be capable of when their minds are set to it.

As an up-and-coming performer myself, The Smith Center’s Student Ambassador program has given me an opportunity to see this touring company live. It inspired me so much to join a gym!

These performers are ripped and have had incredible training. I give major props to everyone involved.

Not only were they sweating, but so was I in my seat trying not to clap early for everything they did. I highly recommend seeing Pilobolus for those who love art and dance.

Learn More

If you know a Southern Nevada high school student who might be interested in joining The Smith Center’s Student Ambassador program, contact Program Manager Melanie Jupp at: [email protected].