On February 7, student musicians from Jackson Middle School walked next door to the D45 Early Childhood Center and delighted our early learners with musical performances. Under the direction of Joe Koppel, the musicians used the performance as practice for the upcoming Villa Park Solo & Ensemble Contest taking place on Saturday, February 11, at Albright Middle School.
According to Koppel, the Jaguar musicians were “anxious, a little nervous, but very excited” to perform for the Caterpillars, who took in the performances with intrigue and enthusiasm.
The Caterpillars were treated to pieces played by a saxophone duet comprised of eighth grader Benjamin Bates and sixth grader Abigail Bates, as well as a flute trio comprised of eighth graders Alaina Marino and Isabel Bathe and seventh grader Cassidy Ruzycki.
“Students work very hard to prepare their ensembles to perform at contest,” said Koppel. “We are always looking for opportunities to play them in front of a friendly audience before contest day.”
While the performances served as practice for the middle school musicians, Amy O’Callaghan, special education teacher at the ECC, shared they also helped expose the district’s youngest learners to something they can do when they are older.
“We loved it,” said O’Callaghan. “It was fun to see some older kids play ‘real’ instruments!”
A total of 50 soloists and 18 ensembles from the Jackson Area Band program will be participating in Saturday’s contest. Good luck, Jaguars! Way to help them prepare Caterpillars!