The Cortland junior and senior high school bands embarked this fall on an exciting community outreach program titled Harmony Bridge! The mission of the program is to help bridge the gap between young musicians and the senior community. Harmony Bridge also provides an opportunity for students to showcase their gifts and talents in a way that is meaningful for both the performers and the audience.
This month, students from elementary select band, junior high band and senior high band who are participating in the Harmony Bridge program gave a performance on March 7th at 6:30 p.m. for senior citizens in residing at the Cortland Crown Center. Parents of students performing were invited to attend. The performance is interactive and students introduce each song and share unique information about themselves and the instrument they play. The songs performed are timeless songs such as “Muffin Man,” “Ode to Joy” and “Little Liza Jane.” The songs are easily recognizable by both our senior community and the students. Following the performance, students interact with the residents.
Band teacher, Sharon Phetteplace said, “basically my vision is to be able to combine the elementary, junior and senior high students together to help create more of a community within the band program. On March 7th, junior and senior high band students volunteered their time during the elementary select band rehearsal to help the elementary students prepare for the Harmony Bridge outing. Senior high and junior high students took the lead on assisting elementary students learn the music. For this performance, participation is strictly voluntary.”
The Cortland music department will continue the Harmony Bridge Project and schedule performances throughout the school year. Sharon Phetteplace and Kim Sanderson have been dedicated to sharing music with the community and are using Harmony Bridge to allow their band students to do the same.