The Grand Rapids Griffins are Serenaded by the Bobcat Choir!

miii2587The Bobcat Choir from Bauerwood cannot simply be contained by the borders of Jenison! Last week they traveled to VanAndel Arena to serenade the Grand Rapids Griffins, their opponents, the Iowa Wild and the hometown crowd with the National Anthem. They were supported by 300 Bauerwood family members who came to cheer on the choir and the Griffs!

miii2555Bauerwood music director, Diane Schrems, says that fifteen years ago the Bobcat Choir started signing the National Anthem at the Whitecaps games and then reached out to the Griffins as well. “Most recently Grand Valley contacted me to see if I would bring the Bobcat Choir to a Grand Valley Women’s basketball game.  It’s wonderful to get out into the community and perform for everyone.”

miii2559Rehearsals for the big performance have been taking place weekly after school on Thursday’s and the choir has watched post-game tape and agree they did a great job. Of course, they also got to stay for the game and had a wonderful time cheering with their family and friends.

“The kids gain a sense of school pride when we go out into the community and represent Bauerwood and Jenison Public Schools.  It’s important to share your talents with others in a meaningful way like singing our country’s national anthem.  Being a member of  Bobcat Choir builds strong character and commitment in our kids.  When we sing together we build a bond through the music that sounds and feels great.”

Even though the Griffs couldn’t pull of a win that night (they lost 1-2), the Bobcat Choir certainly won for their talent, courage and showmanship! Jenison is proud of you! Go Wildcats!

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Bauerwood Fine Arts Night

As the rest of our community was winding down in anticipation of Spring Break, Principal Crystal Morse was swinging wide the doors to Bauerwood Elementary for the 4th Annual Fine Arts Night.

Organized under the creative eyes of art teacher Ms. Ashley Hankamp, and music instructor Ms. Diane Schrems, the evening spotlighted the wonderful progress that Bauerwood Elementary students are making in the Fine Arts.

Students spent weeks learning to play instruments such as the bells and triangles, mastering several songs, and even learning movement pieces to perform. Titled, “Carnival of the Animals,” songs featured ranged from “Cuckoo, Cuckoo” to “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

Art Teacher Ashley Hankamp

Thanks to the dedication and long hours of Ms. Hankamp and several parent volunteers, Bauerwood’s hallways were transformed from lockers and linoleum to a virtual art gallery. Dozens of paintings and cityscapes lined the walls of the school with the professional appearance of a top-notch exhibition room.

At 1 pm all these art pieces were in four huge pallet boxes–parent volunteers made it happen! “Ms. Hankamp said. “There’s no way I could have done it alone!”

With the help of Kids Art Fairs, parents also had the opportunity to purchase their children’s framed creations and send a portion of the proceeds back to the art department.

Bauerwood Principal Crystal Morse

Mrs. Morse raved about the success of the night–not only were hundreds of parents in attendance (so many so that the grades had to attend in shifts!)but she was thrilled with the teamwork she saw in her staff. She explained that every person in the building gladly changed their schedules and teaching plans in order to accommodate multiple rehearsals and preparations that had to be made.

Furthermore, Mrs. Morse noted that even classroom teachers lent a hand to help students memorize new songs by playing the music during work time. “It wasn’t not out of the ordinary to walk down the halls and hear kids singing while they were working in their classrooms!”

Of all the work that went into making the Fine Arts Night a hit, it was that teamwork that made Mrs. Morse most proud.

“Diane is amazing and what Ashley can help our students produce is amazing. It’s a complete team effort!”

Congratulations to the Bauerwood staff for an amazing night celebrating the arts! You make us proud.