The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 29, 1999


Carlisle School instrumental and choral music program is upbeat

Music teacher Angela DiPace demonstrated the choral music program in the Carlisle School by orchestrating school committee members in a speaking chant. They repeated words after DiPace in a steady beat, a fast or slow tempo, a loud or soft tone. "This is a way students, kindergartners through third graders, learn about and feel rhythm" so they will understand basic music concepts, DiPace said. "The classes are very active and interactive." This activity also prepares them for the fourth through sixth grade program when they begin to write compositions.

In the classroom, students discuss what can be learned from the music and how the elements of music affect emotions. They discuss what the composer might have been feeling while he was writing the piece. In the fall, she devoted time to the study of George Gershwin; students sang his songs and listened to taped performances.

DiPace majored in piano and music education. A performer and an accompanist, she will be playing the piano as well as helping with the drama and choreography of the seventh-grade musical, Robin Hood.

DiPace now has 20 very enthousiastic middle school students in her chorus. School committee chair David Dockterman commented, "The energy level is fantastic. It is nice to see the choral program happening."

Thomas O'Halloran, Director of Music and the Carlisle School Band, highlighted the year's events. In the fall, the band from Concord-Carlisle High School entertained the Carlisle community in Corey Auditorium. On December 10, the middle school chorus performed for the first time and the Carlisle instrumental program of 220 students in grades 4-8 played for the school. Grades 1-6 have a weekly general music class and the seventh grade is working on the musical. Nineteen seventh and eighth-grade instrumentalists auditioned for membership in the New England Massachusetts Junior District Festival and the Senior Band was accepted to perform at the All-State Conference on March 11 and 12 in Danvers. The cultural enrichment guest performer was Dennis Kobray (as George Gershwin). Finally, the Senior Band is selling citrus fruit to earn money for a trip to Disney World in May. More than half of the students in grades 4-8 perform in one or more of the ability-based instrumental ensembles.

Concluding, O'Halloran mentioned his appreciation of director of buildings and grounds David Flannery and business manager Eileen Riley who schedule 120 student music lessons after school. He also expressed a need for the school to obtain some of the larger and more expensive instruments because their costs are beyond the range of young students. The Carlisle Public School has not been able to purchase any instruments for seven or eight years.

School building use

Flannery presented a Carlisle School facility use report for the year 1997-1998. He commented that although there were no major changes in the organization of after-school activities, there are many requests for building use and he tries to satisfy all of the community groups as well as the extended day program. Every night of the week the gym and the exercise room are used until 10 p.m.

Flannery said he will present a list outlining school maintenance needs to the town's long-term capital requirements committee. He said the major rennovation in 1987-88 was the last time many areas of the school were refurbished.

The school committee's next meeting will be February 2.

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito