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The catchy tunes are swimming in the heads of pupils and their families.



Published: Sun, May 5, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The catchy tunes areswimming in the headsof pupils and their families.

By STEPHEN SIFF

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

CONJUNCTION JUNCTION, WHAT'S YOUR function?

For everyone who has regularly watched Saturday morning cartoons, the answer is probably instinctively, toe-tappingly clear.

"Hooking up words and phrases and clauses," children across the land sing back.

The impossibly catchy -- yet educational -- music of "Schoolhouse Rock" forms the backbone of the first musical performed by Turner Middle School pupils for at least 20 years.

For the past two months, about 25 children have been memorizing lyrics of 1970s animated classics like "Just a Bill," "Three is the Magic Number," and "A Noun is a Person, Place or Thing," along with choreographed dance routines for four performances of "Schoolhouse Rock Live! Junior."

After school, too

And for more than two hours every day after school, they've been practicing songs about circulation, multiplication and American government.

"'Circulation' is my favorite," said Bryson Ford, an eighth-grader with a leading role in "Three is a Magic Number," "Circulation" and "Just a Bill."

"The others I can sing, but I'm not feeling," he said. "That one I'm really feeling."

His whole family is probably feeling it too.

Like all the singers, Bryson was issued a tape of "Schoolhouse Rock" songs, specially arranged for middle school voices.

They run through his head while he's walking from practice and falling asleep at night, he said.

"I have a 2-year-old, and we were singing together some of the songs," said Mary Meese, the middle school choir director. "It's kinda scary."

Danielle Bozek, Aimee Morrow and Belinda Hernon say they've been practicing the songs since being cast as And, Or, and But, respectively, for the song "Conjunction Junction."

"It was hard to learn, but it was fun," said Aimee.

"You just have to practice, and you can do it," said Danielle. "My brother even knows the songs, and he's only 4."

"I think my mom is all sick of the songs," said Belinda.

Tunes by the band

Between songs, the Turner Middle School band will perform the kind of unforgettable (no matter how hard you try) tunes that could have bookended the three-minute Schoolhouse Rock segments on ABC. The program will include the "Pink Panther" theme and a Bugs Bunny tune called "That's all Folks."

"Schoolhouse Rock Live! Junior" will be performed at the middle school four times: once each for pupils at Turner and Roosevelt Elementary school, and at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday for the general public.

Tickets, available at the school office, are $2 for adults and $1 for children.

"I can't wait until opening night," said Candice Smith, who is in the sixth grade.




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