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All-Town Concert Showcases Talented Student Musicians

Apr 01, 2015 01:41PM ● By Steven Chisholm

Robert Glynn and the 5th-grade band

written by Steven Chisholm, Contributing Writer

On March 12, spectators flocked to Bellingham High’s gymnasium to show their appreciation for the town’s fifth-through-twelfth-grade music programs. The All-Town Concert captivated the audience with performances by the middle- and high-school bands and the high school chorus.

The program started with a performance by the chorus. Conductor Marie Forte and accompanist Debra Hadges first led the chorus in a rendition of the traditional Ghanaian folk song “Daa Naa Se.” They then serenaded the audience with such traditional songs as “Fa Una Canzona” and “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye,” before concluding with a performance of “Elijah Rock.”

Before the bands showcased their talents, a special presentation was conducted in honor of music teacher Patricia Renaud. Since 1975, Renaud has dedicated herself to the musical education of the children of Bellingham. As she accepted a commemorative plaque and bouquet of flowers, she thanked residents of Bellingham for inspiring her to teach music for the past 40 years. In reference to the honor, she said, “Parents, grandparents, and the town let this happen.”

The fifth-grade band was the second group to perform. Conducted by the middle school band director Robert Glynn, the band performed the compositions “Manhattan Beach,” “Anasazi,” and “Castles and Dragons.” Glynn showed great delight in informing the audience that this year’s fifth-grade band has the most participants in the school’s history.

Glynn similarly led the sixth- and combined seventh- and eighth-grade bands. Between the performances, he conveyed the importance of music education. He revealed just how talented the musicians of Bellingham are by enlightening the audience as to how many of the students were involved in honors classes, extracurricular activities, and charitable groups, in addition to their roles in band and chorus.  “You are who you surround yourself with,” said Glynn, encouraging future students to enlist in the many music programs that are offered.

Before leading the BHS concert band, Forte announced that Glynn had been selected by many of his peers to present a workshop at the MA All-State Music Educators Conference this year in Boston. His teaching curriculum had been recognized by music professors throughout the state for its exceptionality and efficiency, and the audience conveyed their congratulations with a well-deserved ovation.

The BHS concert band, equipped with several students chosen for the MA Central District Honors Festival, was the last of the bands to play. The audience was offered extensive renditions of “Under the Double Eagle March” and “The Witch and the Saint” that were beautifully executed.

The All Town Concert came to a close when all bands, grades five—twelve, joined together in a massive production of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” They were thanked for their performances by a standing ovation. Given the complexity of some of the compositions performed, it’s likely that the audience left the concert that evening with a newfound appreciation for the various school music programs in Bellingham.

Be sure to view Steve Chisholm’s other photos of the All-Town Concert.




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