Music In the Middle

Music In the Middle
Music In the Middle
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Where do musicians come from? Besides their parents, they often get their first taste of the stage and crowd recognition in grade school. For some it will be nothing more than an extra-curricular activity; for others it will become a life-long pursuit. For the lucky few, it could be a career.


You might not think of our schools as music venues, but they most certainly are. Many of them have orchestras and show choruses (can anyone say “Glee”?). Others put together productions that involve the whole student body, but still deliver great entertainment. And the benefit to the students extends far beyond the stage.


A case in point would be Robious Middle School’s recent production of “School House Rock Live,” adapted from the ‘70’s cartoon series that taught lessons using short music videos.


Almost 100 students auditioned for 45 parts including the seven lead vocalists. The mother of one girl in the chorus told me that auditioning and performing in front of audiences brought her daughter out of her shell and increased her self-confidence. Robious English teacher Isabel Futterman agrees, “The arts give them inspiration and that inspiration sparks this interest and effort and energy that spill over into academics and their personal life.” Producer/director Beth Mercer, a retired choral music teacher for 33 years who was asked to come back to produce this show added, “Our shows draw from all students and are used to unite the entire school.”


You could see the excitement and feeling of satisfaction in the student performers who played before almost 900 proud parents, friends and fellow students over three nights. They put on a tight and lively show.  The saying “Support live music” rings true when it comes to these school productions. In this case, money raised from ticket sales will be put into future shows. More importantly, it’s an investment in the future of entertainment.


Show highlights.


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