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More chances to make music

Struck adds show choir, Orff ensemble, spring musical to offerings at Saratoga

Students in Saratoga Community Consolidated School District 60C will soon have three new musical opportunities.

Kim Struck, choir teacher at Saratoga, has gotten the “green light” from school administration and the board of education to start a junior high show choir and an Orff ensemble, as well as to direct a spring musical.

“I felt in a school of nearly 800 students, about 250 junior high students, that students should have more than one opportunity to participate in vocal and instrumental music,” Struck said.

Saratoga currently offers fourth- and fifth-grade band, junior high band, junior high jazz band, fifth-grade choir and junior high choir. Younger students in kindergarten through fifth-grade have a general music class and first- and second-graders have a “Music and Motion” class — a combination of music, physical education, dance and movement, Struck explained.

“We’re really happy with our music program,” said District Superintendent Kathy Perry. “It’s outstanding. It’s just going to be better now.”

The new junior high show choir will be an audition-based group open to seventh- and eighth-graders.  Rehearsals will be held one or two mornings a week, from 7:15 a.m. to 8 a.m. Students do not need to be a part of the junior high choir to make the show choir.

“This is my fourth year at Saratoga and there has always been an interest in a show choir,” Struck said.
She hopes to start this choir this month.

“Alice in Wonderland” will be Saratoga’s first spring musical, directed by Struck, Saratoga teacher and play director Rita Gemmer, and Saratoga teacher’s aide and experienced theatrical director Ron Logsdon. The musical will be open to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders and will also be audition-based.

The performance of “Alice in Wonderland” is scheduled for April 11 through April 14, 2013.

The third and final group students will have the chance to partake in, the Orff Ensemble, will provide students opportunities to perform in an instrumental ensemble learning multi-cultural music, folk music, jazz styles and to play with musicality and understanding. This will be offered to fifth- and sixth-grade students and is not audition-based.

This group will meet once a week on a set day and time following Saratoga’s winter break.

Struck’s hope is for the Orff Ensemble to perform and share their music at various events.

“I think that Saratoga School is very fortunate to have the support of fine arts from the faculty, staff, administration and board,” Struck said. “In today’s economic stresses, our school continues to offer general music, choir, band, jazz band, art classes, drama, speech and other opportunities to students.”

Upcoming performances at Saratoga include the following:

• A Veterans’ Day assembly at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9.

• A fourth- and fifth-grade Christmas program 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 13.

• A junior high Christmas concert at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Dec. 18.

“The community is always welcome to attend music events at Saratoga School,” Struck said.

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