THE SOUND OF MUSIC
For me, it just wouldn’t seem like the Holiday Season without music. Regardless of age, gender or ethnicity, each of us associates the holidays with music. This is especially true at Alamo School where music is woven into our lives each and every day!
Every student at Alamo participates in our vocal (classroom) music program for 40 minutes, once a week. The vocal program is taught by Mrs. Nancy Raaum, who has been a fixture at Alamo School since 1998. Mrs. Raaum’s program is performance-based, with every child having the opportunity to take part in a formal concert each year. Kindergarten – 2nd grade focuses on reading rhythm patterns, singing rounds and following music. In 3rd grade our students learn to read music and play recorders.
Mrs. Raaum also supports our grade-levels with musical plays throughout the year. In November our 5th graders performed “European Explorers in the New World” which takes a funny and entertaining look at the events that led to the exploration of the “New World” and a better understanding of some common misconceptions. This spring our 4th graders will perform “Gold Rush or Bust!”, while our 2nd graders will be performing in a play for the third consecutive year.
In addition to classroom music, Mrs. Raaum also conducts the Alamo Chorus (grades 3-5). The Chorus meets weekly before school for one hour. This year, nearly 50 students will perform in approximately 10 concerts, with 6 of them being performances supporting community events such as the Alamo Music and Wine Festival, Alamo Tree Lighting, and the SRVEF Run for Education.
Alamo School also offers band, strings and chimes to compliment our vocal music program. Mrs. Karla Angle, in her fifth year at Alamo School, has developed a highly acclaimed instrumental music program. This year over 60 students participate in Mrs. Angle’s programs. Students can choose from the following instruments: Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone or Violin. Percussion is offered for second year students. Students receive a ½ hour of instruction 2 times a week. Performances include: SRVEF Run for Education Spirit Week, Winter Concert and Assembly, Area Band Festival, Alamo Hoedown, District String Festival and the Spring Concert and Assembly.
Together, Mrs. Raaum and Mrs. Angle, provide Alamo School with a musical program that is second-to-none in the area. This is validated by the fact that over 100 of our students participate in either chorus or instrumental music. This is an amazing total considering that only grades 3-5 can participate in these programs, meaning that nearly half of the students at Alamo School are involved in extra-curricular music!
As a principal, I feel that music programs are so important during the early years of education. Both Mrs. Angle and Mrs. Raaum’s programs go far beyond the music. Both of their programs stretch across other subject areas including science, world language, history and multicultural education. Mrs. Angle has been known to include math and physics, as well as social studies and vocabulary (Italian) into her lessons. Mrs. Raaum will be including music from many cultures this year, including Kling glockchen Kling – Ring, Little Bell, Ring (German), Haida (Hebrew) and Nampaya Omame (Zulu).
As we enter this holiday season, there will be many opportunities to enjoy our incredible musical programs. I hope you get a chance to experience the charm of their sounds, and the brightness they will bring to your holidays! Enjoy.
Stan Hitomi, Principal - Alamo School