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Farmington Elementary hosts student music seminar 03/29/2001

About 90 students spent their Saturday in school last weekend, but apparently, they did not mind.

The students, in grades 4 through 6, represented District 192's three elementary schools, as well as Farmington Middle School East. Students from Lakeville, Apple Valley, Bloomington and Zumbrota-Mazeppa were also in the seats of Farmington Elementary School.

Taking part in the Minnesota Music Educators Association Young People's Festival, the students participated in a full morning of intense music training, then finished the day by giving a concert.

Deborah Lamb, a teacher from the Spanish Immersion School in St. Louis Park, worked with students in the area of choral music. Then, students learned about movement to music from Susan Bauer, a professor at St. Olaf College.

The third session, taught by Cary O'Reilley, a music teacher from the Minneapolis school district, focused on using the Orff instruments, such as xylophones. All three instructors have taught at the college level, said FES music teacher Doris McNamara.

McNamara and elementary band instructor Sara Lindell co-organized the event, which is in its third year in District 192. Nancy Huppert, music teacher at North Trail Elementary School, was the accompanist for the afternoon concert.

The students went from session to session, McNamara said. Following the classroom portion, the kids were brought together into a large assembly for a group rehearsal.

At 2:30 p.m., the students gave a performance to a standing-room only crowd, McNamara said. On Monday, District 192s participants gave a short concert for all of the fourth and fifth graders in all three elementary schools.

"They performed to give the other kids an idea of what their peers had just learned," McNamara said. "After they were done singing, several of the teachers said what a beautiful sound they had."

From everything McNamara heard from the students, those who participated enjoyed the day. She and the other District 192 music teachers consider the day a success, and hope to continue the event next year.

"It's a great opportunity for our kids, and they have the chance to do something different like this right here at home," she said.

Students were chosen to participate in the musical festival based on their vocal music skills.

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