Parents and Lower School students alike braved the soggy, blustery weather on February 27 to come together for the Midwinter Instrumental Showcase featuring grades 3, 4, and 5. The showcase included performances by two orchestra groups, two bands, and a recorder duet, as the budding musicians, many decked out in colorful galoshes, entertained their peers and families.
The third grade strings ensemble was the first group to take the stage. Strings teacher Robert Davies explained that, as newcomers to their instruments, the students would play their pieces mostly in unison. The audience was treated to three pieces: “Morning Dance,” “Rolling Along,” and “Lightly Row.”
Next up were more third graders in Beginner Band. Like the strings ensemble, these students have only been playing for a few months, and music teacher Maureen Isbister shared how they had progressed from playing with just mouthpieces to two-note songs to slightly more demanding pieces with multiple notes and rhythms. The band played “Two Note Reggae,” “Hot Cross Buns,” “Whole Note Warm-Up,” and “Two Tone Workout” before moving on to their signature piece (accompanied by grins and joyous exclamations from the brass section): the theme from Jaws. Then Taylor Thomas and Zizi Meeks showed off their newly learned skills on the recorder with “Juba” and “In Harmony.”
The fourth and fifth grade strings ensemble demonstrated their talents and showed how much progress they’d made by performing a standalone piece titled “Enter the Hero (Part 1).” And finally, the fourth and fifth grade band closed out the show with three pieces: “Finlandia,” “When the Saints Go Marching In,” and “Hard Rock Blues.”
The showcase was a terrific way to introduce the second graders in the audience to the various types of music produced by different instruments. Lower School Director Jeanette Tyndall brought the gathering to a close by thanking everyone for coming, and asking the second graders if they had any ideas about what instrument they would like to study in the upcoming school year. The response was mixed; some students showed definite preferences, while others wanted more time to deliberate on such an important decision. Either way, it was clear that they had some impressive shoes (or rain boots) to fill in the future!