Music students perform for school board

Greater Johnstown School District music students perform for the Board of Education Thursday night at Johnstown High School. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — Music students in the Greater Johnstown School District celebrated “Music In Our Schools Month” this month by performing for the Board of Education Thursday night at Johnstown High School.

The National Association for Music Education celebrates “Music In Our Schools Month” in March every year, and the district’s Music Department helped celebrate at the board meeting.

Department music teachers Andy LaCoppola, Lynn Makrin, Jennifer Casey and Tamara Healy addressed the board.

“We celebrate this every March,” LaCoppola stated.

Performing for the board were the Sixth Grade Small Ensemble from Warren Street Elementary School and the Knox Winds.

“Our theme this year is ‘music connects us,'” LaCoppola said.

Makrin said the kindergarten through sixth grade students have been performing American folk songs. She said the youngest children start with music foundation, with second and third graders singing and composing. By fourth grade, she said the kids are ready to “conquer something on their own.” By fifth and sixth grades, students are creating their own percussion ensembles.

“More importantly, they set their own goals,” Makrin said.

LaCoppola said the Johnstown district is “blessed” with excellent music offerings. He said 586 students participate in performing groups from fourth to 12th grades.

Healy said the sixth graders also have a jazz ensemble. She said the new grade-level grouping has been conducive to teaching music.

“Thank you for the tremendous support you’ve given our department,” LaCoppla told the board.

Board President Kathy Dougherty thanked parents as well.

“We know it takes the support of the families to make this happen and also the teachers,” she said. “This is the village.”