By ABBY SLANKER
C.H. Campbell Elementary School fourth-grade students honored Ohio during the school’s annual Evening of Art and Music May 9. The students presented a concert to celebrate America and Ohio through music and created pieces of artwork representing periods of history of Ohio.
The concert, under the direction of C.H. Campbell music teacher Janet Williams, included patriotic songs of unity, songs that helped tell Ohio’s history, recorder karate songs and other student favorites.
The students kicked off the concert with “The Pink Panther,” by Ohioan Henry Mancini.
The audience was then asked to join the students in singing “The Star Spangled Banner,” during which several students conducted them from the stage. The students sang “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor,” which included lyrics from the Statue of Liberty and the patriotic song “This is My Country.”
Musical selections from the Ohio history portion of the performance included, “Ho, Ho, Watanay,” “Froggie Went A-Courtin,” “Simple Gifts,” “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” “Oh, Susanna,” “Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier,” “Music Alone Shall Live,” “Old Dan Tucker,” “Down the River,” “Hang On, Sloopy,” “Beautiful Ohio” and “O.H.I.O. Rap,” which included facts about the state.
Recorder karate songs which challenging to students, included, “Amazing Grace,” a popular classic, and “Ode to Joy,” a melody from Ludwig van Beethoven.
Other favorites the students performed for their audience included, the C.H. Campbell Alma Mater, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” during which students performed hand motions, and “Fifty, Nifty United States,” a mnemonic song for learning the names of the states.
During the show, students took turns playing the guitar, percussion or the recorder to compliment the song performances. Several students also performed rhythmic movement, such as ballet and gymnastics during song performances, and several played the cups during “Hang On, Sloopy.” Students also introduced the song selections, explaining the history behind the songs.
“Welcome parents, relatives, teachers and Board of Education members. We are very glad you are here. Music and social studies blend nicely and tonight we get to show you our developed skills of speaking, singing, dancing and playing instruments. I would like to thank Diane Leonard for all you do for the children and this show. Thank you to the PTO for providing our guitars and percussion instruments for all our students to enjoy,” said Williams in welcoming the large crowd.
The students’ artwork, which was completed throughout the school year in art class taught by Diane Leonard, was on display in the high school cafeteria before and after the show. The focus of the fourth-grade visual art curriculum was to gain a better understanding of the influence of culture on art.
Featured artwork included the prehistoric Indians in Ohio, which was inspired by artifacts like the Mica Hand, the Copper Ornament and the Great Serpent Mount of Southern Ohio; tribal leaders of the historic Indians, which was inspired by portraits of wise and important tribal leaders; the evolution of the pottery industry in Ohio, which focused on pottery plants in southern Ohio, each of which had a distinct mark representing their pottery and each class designed a maker’s mark and added the maker’s initials to their individual pottery piece; the Tree of Life and our own culture, which consisted of the five most important things in the students’ lives and they were then represented in the students’ own version of a Tree of Life; decorative arts and metal ceiling tiles, of which the students patterned their aluminum sheetings after fine cultural pieces and were inspired by symbols which represented the great state of Ohio and Victorian architecture in Ohio, which inspired the students’ simple line drawings.
In closing the concert, Leonard honored Williams, as she will retire at the end of the school year.
“After 35 years with Canfield Schools, Mrs. Williams is retiring this year. She is a colleague and friend. We share a common belief that the arts are most important at the elementary level. She has the energy of two tornadoes and always has the best interest of each child at heart. She has made such a positive impact on all our lives,” Leonard said.
In the evening’s program, Williams wrote a note to her students and the community.
“My goal has been, and hope is, that I have planted seeds of knowledge, skill and desire to more fully understand, enjoy and be able to make music for a lifetime. And I believe that learning through the arts builds innovators for the future, regardless of the subject.
“It has been a particular pleasure this year to work with students bridging to the Canfield Village Middle School Band Program, as this mode of learning continues through each child’s school career.
“After retiring, music-making will continue to be an important part of my life, through church and community. So, as I say thanks for the support of parents and colleagues, I look forward to witnessing the growth of Canfield students in the future,” Williams wrote.