87.5 F
Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, August 11, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesGrammy-Winning Artist Wows Young Students

Grammy-Winning Artist Wows Young Students

Abraham Elementary students were all-smiles Tuesday.Students at Gladys A. Abraham Elementary School had a surprise at assembly on Tuesday when Assistant Principal Patricia Maynard told them there would be a musical event instead of classes.

Tom Chapin and Friends, the Grammy-winning band who will be in concert at Tillett Gardens on Wednesday night, soon had 250 kindergarteners to 3rd-graders, singing, clapping and laughing at a lighthearted but educational concert.

Chapin and band members John Cobert and Michael Mark provided an energetic mix of humor and music, singing their hit songs, such as “The Family Tree” and “The Whale Song,” leading the kids in hand and arm movements, and showing them a variety of folk music instruments such as the autoharp, banjo and squeezebox.

The concert was organized by The Arts Alive Student Outreach Program supported by the Tillett Foundation. Concert artists who come to perform at Tillett Gardens under the foundation’s Arts Alive series also take part in student outreach events.

Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)

To date, seven St. Thomas schools have taken part. “We have folks who come to do the regular concerts," said Arts Alive Board Chair Lawrence Benjamin. "We ask them to contribute to our outreach program, and nobody has ever refused.”

Chapin, who mastered the crowd with fatherly finesse, said he branched off into children’s songs when he wanted some music for his own family that was “kid-friendly and adult-safe.”“I never ever expected it to take off like this,” Chapin said. “Now we have had eight Grammy nominations, and it is half of the band’s work. It is first and foremost entertainment, but they learn. Kids have wide open ears, and days later they come out with something they got from the concert.”

Bass guitarist Michael Mark got big cheers by lowering his guitar and body down to the floor to illustrate the descent of the notes he was playing and singing. Noting the high audience participation, he said, “The further you get away from the big cities, the less jaded the kids are; and K-3 is the perfect time for these concerts.”

Keyboardist John Cobert, who played with John Lennon earlier in his career, scored a hit Tuesday with his nonsensical scat singing. After the assembly, he said he thought the Abraham students were “a great bunch of kids.”

The K–3 students are no strangers to good music. They benefit from a busy music program, with choirs and players in several bands: traditional, quelbe and steel drum.

Chapin and company kicking up their heels during Tuesday's assembly.Artist demonstrations at the school, visits to Reichhold concerts, and school band and choir performances are organized by band teacher Georges Thomas and music teacher and intermediate choir leader Neomie Toussaint-Williams.

Recent visitors have included an African master drummer, and the intermediate choir has collaborated with the popular scratch/quelbe band Jamesie and the All-Stars to make a CD of V.I. Folk music, which was presented to Chapin and his band by Maynard and Toussaint-Williams at the end of the concert.

For the finale, the group sang a good-bye song: “I would like to say good-bye, we will be happy together tomorrow my friends.“

The kids then filed back out to their classrooms with a musical perk in their steps.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more

Abraham Elementary students were all-smiles Tuesday.Students at Gladys A. Abraham Elementary School had a surprise at assembly on Tuesday when Assistant Principal Patricia Maynard told them there would be a musical event instead of classes.

Tom Chapin and Friends, the Grammy-winning band who will be in concert at Tillett Gardens on Wednesday night, soon had 250 kindergarteners to 3rd-graders, singing, clapping and laughing at a lighthearted but educational concert.

Chapin and band members John Cobert and Michael Mark provided an energetic mix of humor and music, singing their hit songs, such as “The Family Tree” and “The Whale Song,” leading the kids in hand and arm movements, and showing them a variety of folk music instruments such as the autoharp, banjo and squeezebox.

The concert was organized by The Arts Alive Student Outreach Program supported by the Tillett Foundation. Concert artists who come to perform at Tillett Gardens under the foundation’s Arts Alive series also take part in student outreach events.

To date, seven St. Thomas schools have taken part. “We have folks who come to do the regular concerts," said Arts Alive Board Chair Lawrence Benjamin. "We ask them to contribute to our outreach program, and nobody has ever refused.”

Chapin, who mastered the crowd with fatherly finesse, said he branched off into children’s songs when he wanted some music for his own family that was “kid-friendly and adult-safe.”“I never ever expected it to take off like this,” Chapin said. “Now we have had eight Grammy nominations, and it is half of the band’s work. It is first and foremost entertainment, but they learn. Kids have wide open ears, and days later they come out with something they got from the concert.”

Bass guitarist Michael Mark got big cheers by lowering his guitar and body down to the floor to illustrate the descent of the notes he was playing and singing. Noting the high audience participation, he said, “The further you get away from the big cities, the less jaded the kids are; and K-3 is the perfect time for these concerts.”

Keyboardist John Cobert, who played with John Lennon earlier in his career, scored a hit Tuesday with his nonsensical scat singing. After the assembly, he said he thought the Abraham students were “a great bunch of kids.”

The K–3 students are no strangers to good music. They benefit from a busy music program, with choirs and players in several bands: traditional, quelbe and steel drum.

Chapin and company kicking up their heels during Tuesday's assembly.Artist demonstrations at the school, visits to Reichhold concerts, and school band and choir performances are organized by band teacher Georges Thomas and music teacher and intermediate choir leader Neomie Toussaint-Williams.

Recent visitors have included an African master drummer, and the intermediate choir has collaborated with the popular scratch/quelbe band Jamesie and the All-Stars to make a CD of V.I. Folk music, which was presented to Chapin and his band by Maynard and Toussaint-Williams at the end of the concert.

For the finale, the group sang a good-bye song: “I would like to say good-bye, we will be happy together tomorrow my friends.“

The kids then filed back out to their classrooms with a musical perk in their steps.