The Newhall School District will present its Beginner Showcase and Fundraiser Concerts on Wednesday, February 22, at 6 and 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, February 23, at 6 and 7:30 p.m. at Old Orchard Elementary School. Beginning Orchestras from all ten elementary schools in the Newhall School District will perform. A donation of $5 is requested at the door.
The Beginning Orchestra concerts are showcase events for students just starting out in the Newhall’s 35+ year old instrumental music program. This performance is one step toward a life-long appreciation of the arts and the ability to play a musical instrument.
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The district’s music program changed the life of Elizabeth Abrahamson when she was an elementary school student. Abrahamson now serves as president of Newhall’s Music Makers PTA and has served as a music teacher in the district. Like many Newhall students she discovered her love of music thanks to this wonderful program.
“The magic of music first started for me when I was in third grade at Valencia Valley Elementary, the day we had an assembly introducing us to all the different instrument possibilities. I could not wait to get home and sign up! I was given a school violin. Patiently, Ms. Spieser and Mrs. Gilbert spent one hour each week teaching us not only notes, but how to play as a group. They taught us not just instrument but life skills. Most importantly, they taught us to persevere,” Abrahamson recently shared with a group of parents.
At Valencia Valley School, Abrahamson was chosen to be in the district’s honor orchestra program for top-performing students. She continued in music through junior high, high school and college, using the same values she was taught in the NSD program.
“When I decided to study music education in college I knew I was on my way to being a part of something very special that had inspired me in the beginning,” Abrahamson shared.
After graduation from college Abrahamson was able to join the NSD program and she taught classroom music, chorus, and orchestra. “My first day of teaching orchestra was at Valencia Valley, where I took my first steps, years ago, as a young musician. This was where everything began for me. As an orchestra teacher, I worked with the students through frustration, success, tears, laughter, accomplishment and desire to achieve something more than just the average expectation. And we did it! The NSD music teachers continue to teach not just notes, but life skills. They provide an environment where education for the whole child is possible, and where those who might not have otherwise, can find a way to shine.”
Staff, parents and Music Makers PTA work to make the music program available to all students. Abrahamson and the leadership of Music Makers PTA have repeatedly expressed their gratitude to the leadership of the district, which has managed to keep this program intact even in the face of an ongoing budget crisis.
“I became the President of the Music PTA for a very special reason. Without attending that very first assembly in third grade where I was introduced to this amazing program, I wouldn’t be here now. Since I was a young fourth grader, I knew I was meant to do this… I wanted to grow up and become a music teacher! Now I am getting the chance to support and give back to those teachers, administrators and everyone who believed in letting me spread my wings. The best part of it… I get to help others to fly!”
Every journey starts with a small step. In Newhall School District the beginning orchestra students will be taking their first musical performance steps by playing in the annual Beginner’s Showcase Fundraiser.
Added Abrahamson, “As a music teacher, I love to see the look of accomplishment on a child’s face when they realize they just completed their first performance. As a member of the community, I love to see how everyone gives their time and energy to make this event happen. Although we are so lucky to have such a wonderful support from the district, we depend on donations as well as volunteers to keep this program running. Please come and support this wonderful program, our district and teaching staff.”