Music Soothes the Soul

These days, I am continually amazed (not surprised) at the lengths our teachers have gone in order to uphold the integrity and tradition of an education from Jenison Public Schools. I, along with the school board, am proud to support them however possible and today I’m happy to highlight the extreme excitement and importance of continuing our music education programs during this time.

As a result of Covid-19 and all the challenges that come along with in-person instruction and hosting public events, some districts – even those in our own local area have decided to defer music education this year. I am truly grateful that we have the dedication and capacity to continue our remarkable music program.

Since the beginning of the school year, our band and orchestra directors have continued to work with and teach their students throughout some unusual circumstances. Over the last few weeks, families were given the opportunity to enjoy concerts live and in person.

Impeccable logistical planning allowed the High School Orchestras to perform 4 individual concerts on the evening of October 29. With more than enough appropriate spacing on the stage and in the auditorium seats, the strings filled the JCA with beautiful, soothing music. Dan Scott and Josh Zallar led their musicians in an amazing evening that seems to have touched hearts just a little more than during a ‘normal’ year. It felt so great to be in our beautiful Jenison Center for the Arts and hear it come alive with music again!

The Jenison Junior High Bands also performed an outdoor concert on October 21. Anne Gembis and Marc Palma led students as they took their turn playing underneath the lights at the football field. No specific uniform was required but as the weather was starting to turn, it was encouraged for all to bring hats and gloves. Both evenings went very smoothly with family guests observing safety measures and making it possible for all to enjoy. Watching our Wildcat Musicians perform is a highlight and offered a blissful momentary escape, for the players and attendees alike. We are all hoping this isn’t our last set of concerts for this year.

Jenison Junior High Band Concert, October 21

If you are a parent of a Jenison Musician, you have so much to be proud of. I am very pleased with the staff and students for pushing through these unprecedented times, and I’m thankful to you for choosing to involve your child in the program. Our district is so very blessed to have a brilliant, hardworking staff of directors cultivating their life long musical talent.

Reflections on Christmas

With Jenison students now on vacation and Christmas Day drawing closer, I’ve had some quiet moments to ponder how fortunate we were to have had the carpet rolled out, if you will, in preparation for this holiday.

The past two weeks have been packed with wonderful concerts at every level, starting at our elementary schools and being topped off at the high school. Each time I have the privilege of hearing our vocalists, choirs, bands, and orchestras, I am reminded of the high standards of our programs and the quality and dedication of our fine instructors.

These concerts also fill me with gratitude. We are entirely thankful to you, the community, for passing a bond that will one day allow our young musicians to perform at home rather than at an off-campus venue. While we have been blessed to have held our Christmas concerts at Fair Haven Ministries over the years, we look forward to a day when we will have a Performing Arts Center of our own.

…And that truly deserves an “Hallelujah”!