It's not often that an elementary school concert involves the entire school for every song performed. But that was the challenge that staff at Emily Carr Elementary decided to take on for their spring concert, entitled "Together!", in the Eric Hamber Secondary Auditorium.
"We wanted to have a school-wide community-building experience," says Harjinder Sandhu, Principal at Emily Carr. "Mr. Hartman wanted to put on a musical show that involved all the students for the whole time, instead of the usual one-song-per-class model."
Eric Hartman, a Grade 2 teacher, had previously been a music specialist and saw a concert of this size as an opportunity to stretch his choir leadership muscles and a chance to bring music into all classrooms.
"I wanted to give kids an opportunity to experience singing on stage, with harmony, and solos," says Hartman. "We also as a school team talk about doing things together. Students are always keen on having experiences with other classes and with different grade levels."
The content of "Together!" supported the school's Code of Conduct, culture and spirit.
Sandhu adds that the students were excited and enthusiastic. "We had a great group of Grade 6s that really got the actions going to our songs. Many of the Grade 4-6 students stepped forward to narrate, sing solo parts or conduct. It was an opportunity to learn that when everyone pitches in, great things can be accomplished."
Dozens of parents snapped photos and enjoyed the afternoon concert. Songs, skits and poetry were all a part of the performance, which Sandhu reiterates was a group effort.
"It is always great to have whole-school events. And we were very fortunate to have parents available to assist. We are so thankful to the staff at Hamber for letting us use their facility, and for all the student volunteers. It was wonderful."
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