On Monday, March 17, music lovers are invited to celebrate “Music in Our Schools Month” by enjoying a wonderful concert by the Simsbury High School bands. Started several years ago by Band Director Lisa Abel, the annual “Play It Forward” concert is a tribute performance designed to give back to the community. In past years, Play It Forward has featured tributes to former band directors such as the late William Channon, teachers who have made an impact on students, community service organizations and in 2013, those lost in Newtown.
This year, Play It Forward is honoring the work of the Immaculate Conception Shelter in Hartford. Immaculate Conception Shelter & Housing Corporation offers shelter, food, clothing, medical and mental health care, case management, drug counseling, entitlement assistance, education and housing services to the homeless. The concert is free, with donations being accepted so that SHS students may purchase toiletry items and make care baskets for the shelter.
In addition to recognizing the work of the Immaculate Conception Shelter, band students will be recognizing teachers and the SHS partnership with the Hartt School of Music. Performances by the Symphonic Band, Percussion Ensemble and Wind Ensemble will be featured. A special performance of Afro-Cuban and Japanese Taiko drumming by the Percussion Ensemble will also be part of the concert. Taiko drumming is especially appealing to audiences and something not to be missed. Taiko, which dates back almost 2000 years, has many components, and has a basis in Japanese folklore. The drums have been used for theater, religion, festivals, communication, and military action; at the Play It Forward concert, they will be used solely to entertain and delight the audience.
The concert, which is free and open to the public, takes place in the Simsbury High School auditorium and begins at 7 p.m. on March 17, 2014.