Percussion Ensemble and Gabriel Youth Orchestra Play for Elementary Students


Jamiliah Phillip-Johnson

Victoria Oswald and musicians play for students at JSC. The ensemble members put on festive clothing and played Christmas music for third and fourth grade students. Junior Wesley Evans said, “I enjoyed going down to the elementary school to see some of my old teachers and play for the little kids.”

  On December 12th, Mr. Steve Horvath took a group of percussion players to John S. Clarke Elementary School to put on a performance for the third and fourth grade students. It was a great experience for both the students and the musicians. The students couldn’t sit still during even the slowest songs, but that was because they were enjoying it so much. They were bouncing up and down in their seats and banging their fists against their legs to the beat. They sang along to the songs they knew, but since the arrangements the percussionists played weren’t the same as those the students were used to listening to, they continued singing along even when the songs were over or the melody wasn’t being played. The students were curious about everything and more asked questions than Mr. Horvath had time to answer.

   The performance was just as much fun for the high school students performing as it was for the elementary students in the audience. Senior Victoria Oswald said, “The best part about playing for children is that they have no idea if we are playing the songs right. They also stomp along to everything. We played a lyrical slow version of silver bells and there was rhythmic stomping.”

    Mr. Horvath was especially happy about the performance. “The great part about this is that we’re playing for an audience that isn’t very critical.” This makes the performance a good warm-up for when the student musicians play at events like the winter band concert.

    Junior Wesley Evans played the train whistle during the opening song, called Holiday Special. He said, “I enjoyed going down to the elementary school to see some of my old teachers and play for the little kids.”

    For fourth grade students, this wasn’t the only Christmas-themed musical treat they got to enjoy. On Friday, December 14 the Gabriel Youth Orchestra put on a concert for all of the fourth graders in the county. Some of the percussion instruments as well as the student instrumentalists they saw two days prior were also featured in this performance.

Zion Puyarena
The Gabriel Youth Orchestra plays a song for all of the fourth graders in the audience. The group played Christmas songs for the students to enjoy and demonstrated all of the instruments and sections of the orchestra, including strings, brass, winds, and percussion. John Hannaway, principle trumpet player said, “I enjoyed making the horse whinny on my trumpet at the end of Sleigh Ride because the kids really liked it.”