May 21, 2016


Area students spread the sound of music

MusicJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland Junior High School music teacher Kim Sanderson talks about her band’s instrumentation with Here We Grow day care participants in Cortland on Friday.

Staff Reporter

CORTLAND — More than 40 senior citizens in the cafeteria of the Crown Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, at 28 Kellogg Rd., snapped their fingers and clapped their hands Friday morning to the rhythm of John Mellencamp’s “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.”
It wasn’t Mellencamp performing. Instead, a group of about 30 local elementary and junior-senior high school students were giving a special performance — the first of the day. Their second stop was an hour later at Cortland’s Here We Go Daycare at 16 Miller St.
Three individual teams put on three separate performances at the center. The first team was seventh- through eighth-grade band members from the Cortland Junior-Senior High School. The second team was students from a general music class at the Cortland Junior-Senior High School. And the third team, which performed Mellencamp’s song, was a group of elementary students from Virgil Elementary.
The performances gave students an opportunity to give back to the community through their talent, said Kim Sanderson, a music teacher at Cortland Junior-Senior High School.
Initially the group solely consisted of Sanderson’s “BandTogether” group, which was the first team of about 13 studentsto perform — with trumpets,saxophones, flute, clarinets, drums, a xylophone andtrombones.
“In the beginning of the year I asked students if they would be interested in giving up some of their lunch time throughout the year to play in a groupthat would eventually perform out in the community,” Sanderson said. “I posted a sign-up sheet, bought some music and we started rehearsing every Friday during lunch.”
During that time, Sanderson said she spoke with Sharon Phetteplace, a music teacher at Virgil Elementary, who was interested in joining the effort so her students could perform more. Soon, Jennifer Rafferty, teacher of the general music class at the Cortland Junior-Senior High School, heard about Sanderson’s plan and also asked to join.
After sending out invitations for the performances, the center and daycare were the two that responded with interest, Sanderson said.
“It was wonderful,” said Lucille Bush, the center’s activity director. “I was happy to see everyone clapping along.”
Sanderson’s band began the show playing pop culture classics such as theme songs from Harry Potter, Star Wars, the Pink Panther and Friends. Rafferty’s group took the stage to play two songs using only hand chimes. The Virgil Elementary students, a group of 13 girls, played classics — using hand drums, cow bells, a piano and three lead singers — such as “Lean on Me,” Mellencamp’s song and “Don’t Worry Be Happy”.
“I enjoyed playing,” said Catherine Aumick, an eighth-grade flute player and part of Sanderson’s group. “I enjoyed getting to perform for everyone.”
Residents enjoyed the performance, too, as many filed into the cafeteria for a change of pace.“It was very nice,” said resident Philip Stalley. “It was nice they gave up their time to stop in. A nice change to the dailyroutine.”

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