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Canajoharie, NY ,

Joshua Thomas
The male section of the High School Chamber Choir performs "Jailhouse Rock" under the direction of Nicholas Anker.

Joshua Thomas
The girls section of the High School Chamber Choir performs "Stormy Weather under the direction of Nicholas Anker.

Joshua Thomas
The Saxophone Quartet performs the "Finale from Quartet, Op. 9 No. 3" under the direction of Tim Field.


Music In Our Schools gives CCS students a chance to shine

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - Updated: 9:45 AM


C-S-E Editor

CANAJOHARIE -- Last Thursday evening, Canajoharie Central School District showed off its best and brightest musicians during the annual Music In Our Schools Concert held in the Great Room of the Arkell Museum.

Right after the holiday concerts conclude, the district's music teachers congregate to decide which groups will perform at the late-winter event, then discussing song selections so that all performances are unique. For the next couple months, the students not only practice daily, but sometimes schedule extra rehearsals -- the Saxophone Quartet meets every Thursday evening -- to perfect their selections, many of which are chosen not only because they're challenging to the students, but also because they're pleasing for the audience -- those two goals working hand in hand.

The evening also gives people the chance to see student performers who haven't yet had the opportunity to take center stage. For instance, the Middle School Percussion Ensemble, directed by Tim Field, performed "Marching New Orleans," a song featuring a New Orleans-style street beat. "I wanted to showcase their talent," said Field, noting that since the percussionists are usually "tucked behind the entire band," the Music in Our Schools Concert "really gives them a moment to shine."

"They love it," said Field of the public's positive reception, explaining that the community is appreciative of the chance to view new and exciting performances. He added, "it's great for the parents of those kids to see them performing on their own, and they really enjoy it."

Another performance created specifically for the event was a duet between graduating senior Ruben McFarlane, who Field called "one of the most gifted students we've had," and sixth grader Trey Arsenault, who Field said "is on track" to accomplishments as grand as McFarlane's.

The annual March concert has been a mainstay in the district for a long time, although it's only within the last six years they've been held at the Arkell Museum, which Field referred to as "a great venue to see a smaller concert like this," the spaciousness of the Great Hall complimenting the room's intimacy.

Performing in the Great Room, Field explained, allows the students to receive feedback from the crowd, as performing for a receptive audience promotes a process of give and take. The music is really given the chance to shine in an electric, audience filled room, where satisfaction is issued at the end of each performance via cheers and applause.

"We really appreciate the support of the school and community for our concerts," said Field, continuing, "not just the March concerts, but all the concerts throughout the year. It's really nice to see everybody come out to see us perform."

"It gives them something to feel good about," said Field of the student performers, who he noted are "active all the way through," the entire process, from the concert's announcement through setting up equipment and readying their instruments prior to the performance.


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