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Center Stage: School performance highlights different music, cultures

November 26, 2019
By MARSHA WAGNER , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Sanibel School's Fall Music Showcase, under the direction of Joey Giangreco, aimed high and scored big time. The showcase featured four different student musical groups playing and performing "Music Around the World."

This year's four groups performing were: the Steel Drum Band, Elementary Choir, Orff Club and Seahorse Chorale. The Elementary Choir featured students from third, fourth and fifth grades, while the Seahorse Chorale like the Steel Drum Band featured a mix of students from various grades.

This interesting and informative program was created, executed and directed by Giangreco, the school's talented music director. The musical journey took the audience around the globe with a number or song from every continent including home grown music from the USA. What a neat way to expose our island's kids to different music and culture from all manner of different people and cultures. Isn't that a great way to learn and understand diversity; while experiencing that all cultures have value and one commonality? An example that, all of us are first and foremost human beings; and music is a great way to teach that lesson.

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A packed house of parents, friends and kids made up the attentive audience. I had forgotten what a treat it is to be part of a mixed audience of kids, and grownups, all together in a theater. Kids doing what they do best squiggling and wiggling while having a swell time.

The Steel Band started with a hot version of a Caribbean Calypso tune "Jump In The Line," followed by "Hammock Holiday," European "Carol of the Bells" then a number made famous by Queen, "Another One Bites the Dust," and ending with a rousing version of Disney's "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" from the movie "The Lion King" (I doubt any lion could have slept through that Steel Band version). By the way this awesome group will be performing on our local PBS TV station sometime in December. Check the PBS calendar for date and time.

Next up was the Orff Club accompanying the Elementary Choir on xylophones while the choir sang "Hitori," a Japanese lullaby. This was followed by "Give Love" and ended with, a touching version of "Believer," which took us to intermission.

A piece from Ghana titled "Sansa Kroma" played by the Orff Club on conga drums and bongos, "Three Can Play," then the Polynesian folksong "Oo a Lay Lay" sung and played on ukuleles and the Australian tune "Kookaburra" led into the rousing "Semper Fidelis" (honoring all our veterans.) This last piece was played as well as sung by KidStix (this refers to playing drumsticks on coffee cans, cutting boards and anything else that is drum able). What a great combine of traditional and nontraditional instruments.

The Seahorse Chorale opened with the American folk tune "Ching A Ring Chaw," next came "Shallow" and ending with "O Hanukkah" from the Middle East followed by Brazilian folk tune "Si Si Ni Moja" which ended this segment. The Finale, "What A Wonderful World," was exactly right on target and a perfect ending for a perfect evening's entertainment given by our island's great kids and our equally great school.

I will keep you tuned in and alert y'all to the school's Christmas offering which will feature the entire school by including first-graders and kindergarteners. I have a date for this one, Dec. 12, but I don't know the time. So, stay tuned!



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