Kipps students perform concert to packed house
BLACKSBURG – More than 300 parents and family members gathered in Kipps Elementary School’s cafeteria Thursday evening to hear students perform in the school’s annual winter concert.
Led by Kipps Music Specialist Glen Chilcott, the Recorder Club, Drum Club and Orff Ensembles made up a music ensemble of about 150 students. Orff Ensembles are also known as xylophone ensembles.
The concert lasted about an hour and selections included several pieces for percussion ensemble and recorder ensemble. Students closed out the concert with a nod to The Beatles’ “Twist and Shout.”
Students have been working on the winter concert since school began in August, Chilcott said.
“We add one piece at a time and we work and work until we perfect it and then we move on to the next piece,” Chilcott said. “We keep working at it until you see what you’ve seen tonight.”
Chilcott said there has been plenty of energy and excitement surrounding the winter concert because the students had done so much work and when it finally came, it felt like Christmas.
Substitute teacher Kelly McPherson, and mother of two students in the concert, said it was hard not to sit in the crowd and well up with tears while watching the children do something not all children do.
“Look at how many kids were up there,” McPherson said. “It’s so popular, you can hardly fit anymore drums up there on that stage. Glen does such an amazing job with them.”
McPherson said her children, Matthew and Molly McPherson, are with Chilcott before and after school most mornings as they take drum lessons from him.
“It’s what they do,” McPherson said. “I don’t know what they would do if he wasn’t here.”
Molly McPherson, a fourth grade student, said Chilcott is a big reason why she plays in the ensemble.
“He does music in a different way than all the other music teachers I’ve seen,” Molly McPherson said.
Molly McPherson’s brother Matthew, a fifth grade student, said Chilcott makes music “fun to play” and said he believes all of his classmates would agree with him.
Matthew McPherson has participated in the winter concert before and said he was happy with this year’s results.
“It was awesome to see everyone clapping for you and playing what you practiced for a long time,” Matthew McPherson said.
That’s exactly the result Chilcott is hoping students see.
“I hope the students learn you have to be passionate about something and you have to work hard,” Chilcott said. “If you work hard, it will pay off. Their hard work definitely paid off tonight.”
But Chilcott hopes the students aren’t the only ones benefitting from the winter concert.
“I hope the parents see that as well, but I hope the parents also see that elementary music is not just singing ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb,’” Chilcott said.
“It can be really cool stuff these kids are capable of doing.”
The Roanoke Times | 381-8627
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