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December 23, 2009 > Schilling Elementary School celebrates the holidays

Schilling Elementary School celebrates the holidays

Submitted By Carol Zilli

Children need music for healthy development in so many areas including brain integration, emotional and psychological wellbeing, and academic success. Research validates this time and again and yet we continue to ignore the essential role music plays in all of our lives but especially children's.

In Newark, Schilling Elementary students have worked very hard since September staying after school rehearsing 1-3 times a week in some cases, working on set design and costuming and even script writing; they have memorized 12 songs, speaking parts and have helped choreograph their dancing and acting parts as well. The performance was a wonderful celebration of the real meaning of Christmas, love and care and of course, peace.

Schilling teachers, Mr. Rafael Rodriguez (6th grade) and Mr. John Mitchell (4th grade) earned academy awards for their stellar performances at the school performances held on December 17. Mr. Rodriguez was Mr. Willson, the mailman, who after all his grumpiness with delivering last minute Christmas cards and packages, is transformed with the real spirit of Christmas by a child named Joy who gives HIM a homemade card to show her love and appreciation for his hard work that makes people happy. Mr. Mitchell portrayed Mr. Grubble, continually shoveling snow and complaining that his job is much harder than Mr. Willson's. They are both reconciled at the end and come to see "Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child" which was a beautiful song sung by four soloists.

A highlight of the show was a 75-member choir wearing white gloves and signing the song which, ended with their 'hand doves' flying upward as a black light captured just the doves in flight. The song,"Peace on Earth" is a gospel style masterpiece that four soloists delivered like pros.

Due to budgetary cuts, Schilling has lost their classroom music program. Through donations, after school choir has continued. Another show is planned for the spring but a continuing music program is vital to its success. Donations are needed to help keep music in children's lives and school curriculum. The next show will feature a Tony Awards theme which will highlight hit songs from famous musicals like Mamma Mia for Kids, The Sound of Music, Les Miserables, and others.

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