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Fifth-graders treated to classical music concert

MARTHA K. SEAGLE
Staff Writer

 

The Citizens Center in Lincolnton rocked with the sounds of music Wednesday morning, but it wasn’t rock music. Instead, fifth grade students from the county were treated to a performance of classical music presented by the North Carolina Symphony.
Bonnie Brown, one of eight elementary music teachers for Lincoln County Schools, said that the goal of the annual event is to increase students’ love of instrumental music and classical composers.
“Each August, the music teachers attend a workshop put on by the North Carolina Symphony,” Brown said.
“The Symphony provides us with materials to prepare the students for the concert.”
Fifth graders learn about the eight composers featured in the concert. Additionally, they have already heard the pieces performed so that they know what to expect. They have also learned about proper symphony dress and etiquette.
They learn vocabulary associated with music such as “tempo,” “overture,” and “acceleration.”  During Wednesday’s concert, Resident Conductor William Henry Curry demonstrated how these terms translate to musical performances.
Students entered the auditorium decked out in dressy clothes, appropriate for a classical concert. Complete silence fell over the auditorium as the lights dimmed and the first piece began. As the performance continued, students tapped out the rhythm of the compositions on their knees and smiled at nearby friends with glee when they were particularly impressed by the Symphony’s performance.
After several pieces were completed by the Symphony, it was the students’ turn to play. About 250 students, who auditioned for the parts, played Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” on recorders for the Symphony to hear.
Then, all 1000 students in attendance sang “Ode to Joy,” with the first verse sung in English and the second verse sung in Beethoven’s native German. The maestro was impressed, saying “Bravo!” at the conclusion of the students’ performance.
Curry encouraged all of the students to someday play an instrument. “Music is all about emotions,” he said. “There are no words so that you can make it your own music.”
Associate Superintendent for Curriculum Elaine Boysworth recognized several special guests during Wednesday’s performance:
Benefactors of the concert, The Lincoln County Community Foundation, represented by attendees Bud and Pat Boyles.
Contributions by Lincoln County Schools, represented by Superintendent Sherry Hoyle.
The Lincoln County Chapter of the N. C. Symphony, represented by board members Loretta Beam, Becky and Rondell Burke, Bonnie Brown, Elaine Boysworth, Steve Gurley, Boyce and Pat Hance, Sherry Hoyle, Joe Lampron and Randy Shives.
Boysworth also recognized the school district’s elementary music teachers: Christyl Barber, Bonnie Brown, Kari Brown, Scott Curtis, Emilee Myers, Ashan Spillman, Leanna Stroup and Rena Summerlin.

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