Last Thursday, January 29, Savannah Lakes Elementary families traveled to a colorful zoo to watch the animals dance and sing under a magical musical spell. They didn’t have to travel far as this zoo was the stage in the school’s cafeteria, and the animals were nothing more than their own children.
Students from all grade levels performed the musical Orffin’ Around the Magical Zoo by Jane Lamb. Fifth graders played the instruments, third graders made up the choir, solos were performed by students from kindergarten through third grade, and the speaking parts were assigned to first, third and fourth grade students.
The musical was made possible thanks to a $1000 grant awarded to Heather Arboleda, Savannah Lakes music teacher, by the Alvin ISD Education Foundation. The grant allowed the campus to purchase two Orff instruments.
The show was well received by the parents as expected; however, Arboleda was more excited about the response she received from her students.
“Children have a great way to remind me why I teach and organize performances. As stated in my grant, many of our students will never attend a show at Jones Hall, but opportunities like this one will be in their heart forever,” said Arboleda. “The children’s excitement during and after this performance was very touching for me. I heard from many teachers that the students were just mesmerized.”
The Education Foundation’s role in the project was essential. The grant awarded to Arboleda not only allows her to add instruments to the music room, but also heightens children’s awareness about using the instruments.
“They have been very excited and feel privileged to use them. Knowing the hard work that went into writing the grant and the amount of money needed, they are showing more respect and responsibility toward the instruments,” added Arboleda. “Fine Arts education is vital for the whole child. I am truly grateful to the Education Foundation for their support of Alvin ISD students and staff.”
First grader Mia Luhrsen was excited to be selected for a solo in this musical. She mentioned that she liked how the animals got to sing and that even though she felt a little bit scared being on stage, she felt mostly good. “It was so much fun”, Mia exclaimed.
“Mia loves music, performing, and entertaining. It benefitted her to show those strengths/interests to her school community. This performance also increased her self-confidence by being chosen as a soloist and performing in front of an audience. In addition, she learned about how the orchestra, choir, and conductor work together for a common goal’, explained her mom, Mrs. Sandy Luhrsen.
General public will have the opportunity to attend the upcoming performance on Saturday, February 7 during the Education Foundation Turtle Race at the National Oak Park, and on February 10 during the Alvin ISD Board Meeting.
To stay informed of all of the great things occurring in Alvin ISD, visit www.alvinisd.net. To support the Education Foundation, and in turn support the students and staff of Alvin ISD, visit www.alvinisd.net/educationfoundation.