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CREC Students Perform at Connecticut Music Educators Association Conference

(Hartford, Conn.) CREC students from the Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies (IMS) in Bloomfield, Montessori Magnet School (MMS) in Hartford, and Reggio Magnet School of the Arts in Avon took part in the Connecticut Music Educators Association (CMEA) Conference festival at Hartford’s Connecticut Convention Center in April. They were especially chosen for the Elementary Honors Ensembles that feature high-achieving young vocalists and musicians from across the state.

This year’s Elementary Honors Chorus was comprised of 230 choral students in grades four through six. CREC vocalists included Gabriella Eckert, IMS, grade 5, Enfield; Saoirse Noyes, MMS, grade 5, Berlin; Chaina Mersan, MMS, grade 5, Hartford; Shanira Lugo, MMS, grade 4, Hartford; Phoebe Candy, MMS, grade 4, Hartford; Jelitza Santiago, Reggio, grade 5, Hartford; and Mekena Pisani, Reggio, grade 4, Simsbury. The conductor was Craig Knapp, a clinician and choral conductor who makes frequent appearances in New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.The Elementary Honors Band featured student musicians in grades four to six. CREC’s band members were Collin Howe, IMS, grade 5, Enfield; Davian Santana, IMS, grade 5, East Hartford; and Casio Robinson, Reggio, grade 5, New Hartford. Their conductor was Rob Grice, one of the preeminent composers of young band music. The band premiered his original piece that CMEA commissioned. Grice’s “The Steel Mill” is about the first steel mill in the U.S, which was located in Simsbury in the 1700s.

Performing at the festival was a great experience for the students. "There were a lot of kids there. I've never sung in a group that size before,” said vocalist Gabriella Eckert. “I was nervous, but you should never be afraid to do something that you like."

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