April 4, 2017
ST. THOMAS, USVI – The Emmanuel Benjamin Oliver (EBO) Elementary Music Department closed out Music in Our Schools Month on Thursday, March 30 with stellar performances by its concert band, concert choir and Steel Owls steel pan orchestra. The last of the mini concert series for the district was held in the school’s amphitheatre and attended by dozens of parents, district officials and the community.
The EBO school family wore red t-shirts and polos bearing the 2017 National Association for Music Education Music in Our Schools month theme, “Music Inspires.” EBO principal Carolyn Archer welcomed students and guests to the annual concert and asked the audience to join in on the Star Spangled Banner and VI March.
The concert got underway with a performance by the concert choir, followed by two selections by the third grade recorder class. A full concert band, complete with trombones, a xylophone and percussion section wowed the crowd with its performance of And the Trumpets Sound and Lean on Me, directed by Clayton Emmanuel. Audience members were impressed by the students’ effortless ability to read and play music.
Fresh off their 2017 WorldStrides On Stage Music Competition win, the EBO Steel Owls gave the audience nothing short of an award-winning performance. The small band, directed by Shanee’ King, performed crowd favorites, such as R. City’s Locked Away, Justin Beiber’s, Sorry and Jam Band’s, Music from the VI.
The concert choir, directed by Howard O. Jones, sang several inspirational and upbeat tunes, and even encouraged the crowd to sing along. EBO’s budding musicians also showed their skill and talent by performing piano, bass clarinet and trombone solos.
Assistant Principal Phyllis Bryan gave closing remarks and thanked supporters of the EBO Music Department for their continuous support. Insular Superintendent Dionne Wells-Hedrington and Territorial Music Director Dionne Donadelle also attended the concert.
The concert ended with a rousing encore performance by the Steel Owls.
March has been designated Music in Our Schools Month (MIOSM) by the National Association for Music Education in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that schools are where all children should have access to music. MIOSM is an opportunity for music teachers to bring their music programs to the attention of the school and the community, and to display the benefits that school music brings to students of all ages.