Like any parent, principals love to brag about that in which they take great pride. Our elementary orchestra is among the finest; the group consistently earns the gold at NYSSMA, and has won their highest honor, the Gold with Distinction Award. Just when I thought it could get no finer, we had the rare opportunity to add a new instrument to our ensemble. Although extremely rare in elementary schools, the SIS Orchestra now includes a harp! Athena, our harpist, has been studying privately, and now she begins her own journey learning about ensemble playing.
Here is Mrs. Wozniak introducing Athena to the ensemble.
In order to diminish distractions during actual rehearsals, the orchestra spent recent rehearsal time asking any questions about the instrument and the harpist. Athena played for them. They closed their eyes so that they could actually hear the sound that will be “a little different” from that side of the room.
So many are supporting this endeavor: our wonderful strings teacher, Athena’s mom has to transport the instrument, her private teacher has to re-write parts, her classroom teacher must allow her to come a little earlier to set up her instrument, and fellow students must learn to refocus now that there is something wonderfully different in their rehearsal. This type of flexibility and collaboration is very typical, and it is one of the qualities I love best about our school!