Monday, June 5, 2017

Notes from the Music Room

Congratulations to Ms. White on her upcoming retirement! The final Chorus Concert last week caps an incredible career and was a cherished evening for everyone in attendance. Fort River students rose to the occasion, delivering a magical performance. Ms. White shared these updates in the recent Principal Newsletter:
Thanks to special funding opportunities, we have been very fortunate to have some fabulous artists come to work with our music classes.  I would like to thank both the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Amherst Education Foundation for funding the concert given by the band, Klezamir, on April 28th.  The entire school had prepared for this concert of Yiddish music and culture. The upper grades watched a film about the history of Klezmer, learning how klezmer music has spread throughout the world. Students learned the Israeli dance, Zemir Atik, which they danced at the concert.  Younger grades read the book, "Kugel Valley Klezmer Band," and learned to sing and dance to "Tumbalalaika." The entire school got up and danced to the infectious music, and a good time was had by all! 
I also want to thank the Amherst Education Foundation for funding our district-wide Culture Bearers Project.  Through this grant we were able to bring wonderful artists to each of our district elementary schools.  At Fort River, in addition to hearing Klezamir, students learned about the Yoruba tradition of the talking drum from artist, Champion Bakare.  Children learned to dance and sing, "Kakilambe," a traditional piece of the Baga People. Tashina Bowman and Donovan Riley Robinson came and taught the students how to drum, sing and dance this song of harvest celebration. Fifth and sixth grade classes were treated to an exceptional live jazz concert by the Jeremy Turgeon Quintet.  The entire school community was treated to an evening of beautiful Latin American dance by Grupo Folklorico Tradiciones at our Cultural Heritage Night. In addition, AEF funding enabled us to procure new teaching materials for the Cambodian Afterschool program which happens at all three elementary schools. 
Thanks to AEF and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, it has been an exceptional year for musical performance and education at Fort River!

Thank you, Mrs. White, Music Teacher
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