Students play strings side-by-side

Students with string instruments-- Union School’s orchestra teacher Janet Fantozzi conducts students from both the high school and Union School during the side-by-side orchestra concert on Tuesday March 15. The music department implemented the concert as a way to bring two age groups together to collaborate and learn from each other.

Bella Podgorski

Students with string instruments-- Union School’s orchestra teacher Janet Fantozzi conducts students from both the high school and Union School during the side-by-side orchestra concert on Tuesday March 15. The music department implemented the concert as a way to bring two age groups together to collaborate and learn from each other.

Anna Green, Media Editor

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The high school orchestra combined with two of the elementary school orchestras to perform in two side-by-side concerts which took place on March 15 and 16 at the high school.

The concerts, organized by high school orchestra teacher Katie Carlson, were introduced in order to get students of the two different age groups to collaborate and learn from each other. Carlson and the other orchestra teachers hope that the concert helped the younger students understand what it is like to be a musician in the high school.

“This concert is something I developed with the elementary school orchestra teachers in the district, as a way to build relationships within our program,” Carlson said.

Students from the high school began the concert by performing more challenging music on their own, without the younger students. On both days, the students from the elementary school performing would join the high school players on the stage for the final piece. Each elementary school player was matched up with a high school player whom they would share a stand with.

“It’s awesome to see the older students sit next to the younger students who are so proud to be performing on the high school stage with older students,” Carlson Said.

Along with allowing students to collaborate around a passion that they share, one of the main goals of the side by side concert was to improve the playing skills of the Elementary school players.

“I feel like the concert was a great experience for both the elementary school students and us high schoolers as we would be able to see how much were grown from how we were when we first started,” sophomore Ashley Detoudom Said.

Mayanne Mattie is the orchestra teacher at Noah Wallace Elementary School. Her students participated in the concert on Wednesday March 16.

“This concert provides students with and experience in collaboration, building relationships, challenging expectations and meaningful knowledge. We hope to improve our tone, intonation, and musicality by playing with our advanced friends,” Mattie said.

Janet Fantozzi conducts the orchestra at Union School. Her students performed the first night, Tuesday March 15.

“For me, I am delighted to see my former Union School students sitting next to my current Union School students. It is such a joy to hear both levels together making music and showing their families and themselves that persistence and hard work will produce a beautiful sound and bring a sense of pride and accomplishment to all,” Fantozzi said.

Last year, East Farms Elementary School orchestra students played side by side with the high school students for the concert. Veronica Germain is the teacher for the orchestra at the school. She was very pleased with the outcome of the concert last year and believes that it is a great program to keep in place in the schools.

“High school students provide a role model to younger students in a way that adults simply can’t based on their age. Students often are motivated by other older students more effectively because they can relate to them better. So my students were really motivated to practice their music so they could keep up with the high school students. As a result, my students experienced a great deal of musical growth in a short period of time,” Germain said.

The music department hopes to continue the tradition of the side-by-side concerts each year as the orchestra program continues to grow.