Friday, March 30 was the day the music was born at a Throggs Neck elementary school.
Young musicians at P.S. 72 held their first-ever orchestra performance before a large assembly.
Inside the auditorium comprised of paintings of Walt Disey musicals, fifth grade students opened with “The Whole Thing” from Essential Elements 2000. The samples drew applause from teachers, parents and the student body. But it was the last performance, “Let’s Go Band!”, that struck a giant chord with spectators who gave a minute long round of applause, bringing enormous smiles from the young players. Leading the aspiring musicians was band director Megan O’Brien, who works for Education Through Music in partnership with the school. The non-profit, along with retail music chain Music and Arts, provided the funding to kickstart the program.
In the beginning of the 2011 school year, fifth graders, new to the music world, picked instruments they loved listening to. After the selection process, students practiced with their respective instruments, which included clarinets, horns and flutes. They’ve also learned something Paul McCartney did not know–how to read music sheets. Since then, students have immersed themselves in the art form, rehearsing three times a week after school and once a week during the school day.
“For them to be able to learn how to create the music it accesses a different part of the brain,” said O’Brien.
The school was certainly excited to see students perform. The week before the peformance, principal Margarita Colon took a moment to observe the ensemble band hitting the right notes.