By Betty Vanderwielen

SLE Winter Concert Shows Musical Gradation


December 28, 2017

Betty Vanderwielen, Pathfinder

The Seeley Lake Elementary kindergartners singing during the Seeley Lake Elementary Winter Concert.

SEELEY LAKE – From kindergarten through Middle School Band, music teacher Kristen Cottom directed Seeley Lake Elementary (SLE) students through a concert of winter-themed music Dec. 19. At the same time, she gave parents an overview of the music exposure their children will be introduced to as they progress through SLE.

The kindergartners were shy as they fidgeted on the risers and gazed at the bleachers crowded with a few familiar faces and a whole bunch of strange ones. Some were so absorbed with gazing at the audience that they forgot they were supposed to be singing "Over the River." Most rallied for "Jingle Bells."

The first-graders showed a bit more composure and volume as they sang "Snowflakes Falling" and "Deck the Halls."

The second-graders looked focused, making eye contact with the audience as they sang "Dreidel Song" and "Deck the Halls."

Third-grade students had received their first introduction to musical instruments. To accompany their singing of "Dancing Snowflakes," some played the tune on xylophones, others rang triangles and still others tapped together thick wooden dowels called claves. The group followed up with a singing of "Frosty the Snowman."

Cottom had taught the fourth-grade students to play the recorder and they exhibited their skills to the tune of "Let It Snow" and concluded with a singing of "Gently Sleep."

By fifth grade, Cottom had formed the students into a beginning band. Playing saxophones, clarinets, flutes, trumpet, trombone and keyboard, they treated the audience to "Shark!", Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" and "Good King Wenceslas."

Sixth, seventh and eighth-graders united to become the Middle School Band. Their collective numbers allowed them to include more instruments – tuba, French horn, drums – as they played "Fanfare for a Winter Celebration" and "Chant and Canon." For their last selection, and the final performance of the evening, the band played "Jingle Bells." Cottom said, because the song was so short, she and the students brainstormed to figure out how to make it longer and more interesting.

Cottom said, "Some kids volunteered to do solos, and the rest formed their own duets, trios and quartets. Then we figured out who's going when and what measures are they playing. We basically made the arrangement together."

The Middle School Band's rendition of "Jingle Bells" served to emphasize the progression of the SLE music program from barely audible, awe-struck kindergartners to band members confident enough to create and play their own arrangement before a large audience.

Betty Vanderwielen, Pathfinder

Members of the Middle School Band playing during the SLE Winter Concert, Dec. 19.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019

Rendered 01/23/2020 12:39