Dear Kazoo School friends,
My “Sunday chat” comes early this week! I was planning to share some brief remarks at the end of today’s “Take a Stand” concert, but we went a little long and I knew everyone had to get going. So, I thought I would share what I had planned with you all now!
I want to make sure to first send a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the parent volunteers who helped with the pancake breakfast. This is one of my very favorite events of the year because it brings us all together and unites us through sharing of a meal. And it would not have been possible without the generosity of parents who prepared and served food, set up and tore down tables and chairs, and poured their hearts into our community.
I am also grateful to Leslie for her time teaching music at Kazoo this winter. Although we didn’t have a great deal of time with her, it was a productive time, and today’s concert was the perfect culmination of the students’ efforts. In case anyone could not join us this morning, the “Take a Stand” concert included:
– Hjordis’s class performed “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” featuring a variety of endangered animals. Their concern for the environment and their commitment to conservation inspires us all!
– Anna’s class provided a soundtrack to the children’s book “Dooley and the Snortsnoot” – a tale about an under-sized giant who stands up to a fearsome monster to protect his friends. The students utilized a variety of instruments (xylophones, tambourines, shakers, etc.) to create the sounds of the story.
– Rose’s class performed “If I Had a Hammer,” complete with hammers and bells. “It’s the hammer of justice; it’s the bell of freedom; it’s the song of love between my brothers and my sisters, all over this land…”
– Middle school students did not throw away their shot at performance, even after a limited rehearsal time and some last-minute changes in personnel due to illness. They shared a “work in progress” version of “Not Throwin’ Away My Shot” from everyone’s favorite musical, “Hamilton.” Several middle schoolers also served as the back-up band for the kindergarten and 2nd/3rd classes, and Liam joined Anna’s class as the scary Snortsnoot.
– Sonita’s class closed out the show with a rendition of “This Land is Your Land,” leading into “For What It’s Worth” (you know, the song that goes, “Stop, children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down…”). They also incorporated animal puppets because… well, why not?
If anyone has photos and/or videos from the concert that they would like to share, please email them to me and I will share them with our community. Thank you!
As I was thinking this morning, I realized that it was perfectly fitting that we held our “Take a Stand” concert on St. Patrick’s Day. Although the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day originated as an Irish Catholic holiday, it has been embraced by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Beyond general debauchery and green food dye, this day holds significance for people of Irish heritage in the United States as a testament to their pride in their cultural heritage. When large numbers of Irish immigrants began coming to the United States in the mid 19th-century, they encountered prejudice and discrimination. People distrusted the Irish immigrants because they practiced a different religion and spoke with a different accent. Eventually, Irish people joined together to take a stand for their rights. That, to me, is a big part of what we celebrate today – the rights of immigrants to come to this country and to be embraced, rather than shunned, because of the unique traditions and perspectives that they bring.
Unfortunately, we know that immigrants, from many countries, still experience prejudice and discrimination, even today. This is why I am so grateful to work with children who are learning from a young age to stand up for what they believe is right – for the environment, for their friends, for themselves, and for their world. I am more encouraged every day that the future is in their hands.
All my best,