Sweet voices and melodious sounds filled the auditorium at Theodore Roosevelt School Wednesday evening, April 8, for the school’s annual Spring Concert.
Under the instruction of Music Director Suzanne Chadwick, the ensembles performed selections based around this year’s theme “Songs of Peace, Hope, Inspiration, and Joy.”
“Every year we give a Spring Concert and I like to choose a theme,” said Chadwick, who has been the music director for five years. “When I chose this music, I had just gotten engaged to someone I had been friends with for 16 years. This change in our relationship came as a surprise to both of us and really showed me the power of hope and joy.”
Among some of the song selections were “Peace Like a River” performed by the recorder ensemble, and “High Hopes” performed by the chorus.
“Life is truly filled with these life altering moments if we are just open to them, and I was inspired to share this with others,” said Chadwick. “Additionally, I knew that 2008 was the 50th anniversary of the peace symbol, and although the concert was in 2009, the school year was 08-09, and everything seemed to just fall in place.”
Filling the halls with music
A spring concert for Roosevelt School has been an annual tradition for many years and is made up of the bell choir and school chorus, along with a performance from selected students of the recorder ensemble.
“We have a spring concert every year, and it’s been going on about 20 years,” said Principal Anthony D’Angelo. “They also perform for the holiday show, and they will perform in the district concert on April 24. That will involve groups from all the schools.”
According to Chadwick, the Roosevelt School Chorus and Bell Choir consist of fifth and sixth grade students who rehearse from September to May and perform at various events throughout the year. For this particular concert, the students start rehearsals in January. The recorders are a part of the third and fourth grade general music curriculum, and during January Chadwick selects a few advanced recorder students to perform for the spring concert.
“Music is a reflection of society.” – Suzanne Chadwick
“Music is a reflection of society,” said Chadwick. “The more we truly understand what the art is about, the better we are as people.”
Among some of the other selections of music for the event were “Himmel und Erde” (Heaven and Earth), which is a traditional German folk song, and “Simple Gifts” which is a traditional shaker tune. Both these selections were performed by the bell choir.
“I will never forget the day I explained "Simple Gifts" to the Bell Choir,” said Chadwick. “I was trying to let them know how important this piece was in American musical history, and little did we know that they would hear an arrangement of it while watching the inauguration later that day. We were all so excited, and that is what education is about.”
Wednesday, the groups held a performance for the entire student body during the day, and repeated the performance for their families later that evening at 7 p.m.
“I can’t wait until they repeat this at the district concert, and it’s great to see all their hard work rewarded,” said D’Angelo.
“Music is extremely powerful, and I am hoping that those who are going through difficulties might be able to find some encouragement through our performance,” said Chadwick.