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Sprauve School Resonates with Spirited Sound

Dec. 7, 2005 –– With enthusiasm and lots of talent, a group of Julius E. Sprauve School music students Wednesday launched into a spirited version of Ride Down Christmas Lane.
"Give me the half notes," music teacher William Johnson told them.
Playing their shiny new instruments, the students were showing off what the money raised at last January's Sprauve School gala bought.
Johnson said the music program received $50,000 to buy instruments and build a locked closet to store the instruments. He said he's got a bit leftover to pay for future repairs and maintenance.
He was particularly proud of the small-sized tubas that allow younger students to learn skills so when they get to higher grades they can move right on to regular-sized instruments.
He said that before the new instruments arrived, there weren't enough for everybody. This forced the students to share.
"There were four and five students on each instrument," he said, adding that this practice caused the instruments to deteriorate faster.
Shakwana Albert, 14, plays the flute.
"I like how it sounds, especially when I play with the whole band," she said.
Dujan Otto, 14, is a whiz on the drums. He said he wants to be a professional musician.
"I'm working on making a band with my friends," he said.
Johnson said that not all the students have the talent to make it professionally, but if they work hard and play their hearts out, they get a good grade.
He said that the music classes help students learn discipline as well as help with English and math skills.
Terry Pishko, who co-chairs the Sprauve School Gala, said that playing music gives the students a sense of accomplishment.
She said that the money raised at the upcoming gala on Jan. 14 at Caneel Bay Resort will go to fund renovations to the school's Family and Consumer Science Classroom and lab.
"We try to do a major project each year," she said.

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