Music program concert in River Road School features xylophone/marimba by young students, directed by David Adee, on January 17, 2013.
The students of second- and third-grade classes at Escuela el Camino del Rio, aka River Road School, performed for (mostly) parents and relatives in a concert on January 17 in the common room/gym of the school, under the direction of David Adee. The concert featured vocal numbers, some free-form dancing, and half (or more) of the program featured numbers performed by students on xylophones (or marimbas). (See video on this page.)
The material was rooted in music from various cultures: African, latino, island, classic pop blues, even some 'name game' vocal improvisations, with an early sing-along of Woody Guthrie's "This Land" (Is Your Land) first in Spanish - Esta Tierra - then in English, with an invitation for the audience to join in. The program ended with more sing-along, with lyrics conveniently printed on the back of the program. La Bamba received an enthusiastic treatment, all in Spanish, then a traditional birthday song in Spanish and English, Las Mananitas, and Irish Blessing all in English. River Road is a bi-lingual immersion school, a very effective environment for absorbing a second language, and a two-way process - the "English" kids don't get to coast since half the curriculum is conducted in Spanish, as is much of the homework.
David Adee takes his program from school to school, and my understanding from the kids is that this is all the music program they get for the rest of the school year. There was some talk about trying to negotiate another slot away from the athletics program towards the end of the school year, but it was unclear how that was to be prepared for and rehearsed. The lack of a continuous year-round music-and-arts program in all schools is one of the greatest failures of modern american public education (imho). It is often pointed out that athletic departments never seem to have to worry about budget cuts, as if the "natural jocks" were more worthy of developing their natural skills than, say, "natural" artists, musicians, actors, stage-crafters ... Some is better than none, however, and kudos to Mr. Adee for developing this program, and its ability to get the kids engaged, disciplined, cooperative, and creative, and all together now.
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