Submitted by Simsbury Public Schools
On Tuesday, January 22, 2013, a group of senior citizens, accompanied by the Director of the Simsbury Senior Center, Kathleen Marschall, enjoyed “reserved seating” at a very special orchestra concert at Squadron Line Elementary School.
The strings concert, performed by fourth, fifth and sixth graders, and directed by strings teacher Linda Beers, was part of an ongoing effort to invite senior citizens to educational community events. Director of Music & Performing Arts Angela Griffin, who was also in the audience, commented, “At the beginning of the year [Selectman] Lisa Heavner, Kathleen Marschall, and I get together to explore potential community outreach opportunities. Usually the seniors like to attend the traditional musical previews at Henry James and the high school. This year we said, ‘Let’s try something different,’ so we asked them if they would like to go to the elementary school concerts.”
Griffin described the response so far as “amazing.” At the Squadron Line performance, she spoke to an audience member who commented that with all the bad things going on the world, “then you look at this,” gesturing toward the proud, smiling faces of the young musicians.
Student announcers took turns at the microphone to provide information about each musical piece, such as what a “canon” is (when a melody is played, followed later by another melody in the same song). One of the highlights of the concert included three solos. Sixth grader Colby Morkan performed Allegro by S. Suzuki on bass, followed by two violinists, fifth grader Dasha Sapronova and sixth grader Abby Interrante, performing Bourée by G.F. Handel and Gavotte by J.B. Lully, respectively.
At the end of the program, sixth grader Riley Duncan and Assistant Principal Scott P. Dunn shook hands with each of the senior citizens in attendance, thanking them for coming and handing each a “Shine” pin, symbolic of the school’s character education program, as a remembrance.