It's the time for field trips, right? The Keller family took a field trip last weekend to Springfield, Illinois where we stepped back in time to experience the life and times of Abraham Lincoln. If you haven't been, we can recommend the highly entertaining Lincoln Museum. Totally new, it is a state of the art tribute to a man who was viciously maligned in the media during his lifetime. It was only until his death that people began to see him as the saviour of our country. Also not to be missed is the Dana Thomas house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Here are some pictures.
2 pictures of the Dana Thomas house
Lincoln's tomb - Lincoln, his wife, and 3 of his 4 children are entombed here
Inside the Lincoln Museum
The Museum on the left, the Presidential Library on the right
Kindergarten and First Grade students, parents, friends and relatives gathered in a warm Pence gym on Tuesday, May 15 to watch the spring program. Featured were songs about all things spring, including titles like "Spring is in the Air", "Each of Us is a Flower" and "Ladybug in My Soda." Students (and possibly audience members) also got an education on the definition of the term Onomatopoeia when the First Grade sang the song "Onomatopoeia." Fun was had by all as the audience watched the students sing out with joy!
Anyone who didn't get a printed program and wants one for their scrapbook, I have a few extras. Email me if you want one and I can send it home with your student.
On Friday, May 4, approximately 200 FHS musicians traveled to Fort Madison High School to compete in the Iowa High School Music Association's Large Group Contest. Concert Band, Women's Choir, Men's Choir and Chamber Choir all received Division I ratings. For this contest, groups perform for three judges. Ratings are awarded based on an average of the three judges' ratings. Each of the Fairfield ensembles received at least one perfect score (40 points) for their performance. Several performance centers around the state accomodate class 1A-4A schools during a 2-day span. Schools performing at the Fort Madison center were Fairfield, Keokuk, Ft. Madison, Burlington Notre Dame, WACO, New London, Danville, and Holy Trinity Catholic. Fairfield's Bands are under the direction of Aaron Adam and Jim Edgeton. Vocal Directors are Connie Keller and Zach Reiter. Videos of the choir performances can be found on Youtube by typing Fairfield High School choirs in the search box.
Here are a few photos of the Kindergarten and First Graders at Pence rehearsing for their spring concert on May 15. For many, this is their first experience performing on choir risers for a large audience. So we practice learning the correct way to stand, what to do with our bodies, and how to enter and exit the stage, as well as perfecting the music we will be singing. We Sing of Spring!
Did you know?...
The scores of elementary instrumental music students on standardized math tests increased with each year they participated in the instrumental program.
-"Music Training Helps Underachievers," Nature, May 26, 1996.
On the 1999 SAT, music students continued to outperform their non-arts peers, scoring 61 points higher on the verbal portion and 42 points higher on the math portion of the exam.
-Steven M. Demorest and Steven J. Morrison, "Does Music Make you
Smarter?", Music Educators Journal, September 2000.
On Saturday, March 17, a cappella mens' sextet Street Corner Symphony performed at the Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts to an enthusiastic, sold-out audience. This group was the runner-up in season one of NBC's TV hit show "The Sing-Off." Audience members were treated to an exciting performance that contained songs from country to pop to gospel, allowing the group to show off their considerable vocal talents. This Nashville group is comprised of two sets of brothers, one of which are the grandchildren of legendary gospel singer Bill Shaw from The Blackwood Brothers. Fairfield High School's jazz choir, Jazz Ex., was thrilled to be the opening act for the show. They also sang with SCS on two of their songs, which, judging from the students' facebook posts, they found extremely exciting. Life-changing, in fact. This writer is gratified to add that John, the group's tenor, gave a plug for the importance of high school choir in honing skills necessary for performing groups everywhere. He added the enrichment music gives to peoples' lives is immeasurable, and urged the audience to continue to support their high school musicians. Well-sung, Street Corner Symphony! Below is a pic of SCS with FHS' singers.
It's time once again to celebrate all things spring with song! The Pence Kindergartens and First Grades will be presenting their spring program on Tuesday, May 15 at 7:00 pm in the Pence Gym. Entitled "We Sing of Spring", it features music about all things spring. The students have been working hard on their music, and are excited to share it with friends and family! Come and join us!