Friday, April 22, 2011

JAMM Performs for the Alaska Folk Festival

Glacier Valley Elementary School is located in "the Valley," which is only ten miles away from downtown Juneau.  But distance is relative and in a community with only 40 miles of road, ten miles can seem like worlds apart.   As the music teacher at Glacier Valley, I learned early on that very few of our students took advantage of the Alaska Folk Festival.  This music  festival showcases local and national musicians throughout the week at no cost, but ... it's located downtown. 

This year, JAMM changed that when it was accepted as a musical act to perform for the festival's family concert.  Both violin and guitar club program collaborated for this concert with 4th & 5th grade guitarists learning the chords to accompany the kindergartners' violin pieces.   With buses available to transport musicians and their families to the event, we had an incredible turn-out! 

As we crammed onto the mainstage, I shared with the audience JAMM's hope to have 120 violinists performing here at this time next year.  You should have heard the applause!

Here is a short clip of our students playing a folk festival favorite - Boil Them Cabbage Down.  I also included our exit song, which I learned from James Hill, one of thes author of Ukulele in the Classroom.  He played the ukulele at this year's NAMM conference in Anaheim.  The whole audience joined in and then he added When the Saints Go Marching In as a partner song.  Here are the lyrics:

Up above my head,
There's music in the air.
Up above my head,
There's music in the air.
Up above my head,
There's music in the air.
I really do believe,
It's aheadin' somewhere. 


 Thank you, Glacier Valley community for supporting this event.  Music brings people together and on this day you helped bridge two communities.  "I really do believe we're a-headin' somewhere."



JAMM performs with the Glacier Valley Guitar Club at the 2011 Alaska Folk Festival (photo: Klas Stolpe, Juneau Empire)

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