A concert combining the bands and orchestras of Bell Middle School, Paradise Hills Elementary, Penn Elementary, Perry Elementary, and Zamorano Fine Arts Academy recently featured close to 300 student musicians at Bell Middle School.
Each year for the past four years and beyond, Richard Opina, Bell Middle School music director, along with DavidRouillard and Laura Smith, elementary instrumental music teachers, bring together their groups for an all-star event. This concert is an event that everyone looks forward to throughout the year.
“Area concerts are important for the community, the schools, and the students,” said elementary music teacher Laura Smith. “These type of concerts happen all over San Diego Unified throughout the school year in different areas and communities,and showcase student development in instrumental music that began as early as fourth grade all the way through eighth grade, and on to high school.”
Many of the students in the Bell orchestras and bands were once in those same elementary classrooms, and have chosen to continue in music through all of middle school. Now these musicians are planning to continue into high school.
“I like music because you can be creative, no one judges you, and you can be yourself,” said fifth grade violinist Chantille Edano, from Zamorano Fine Arts Academy.
Music is important to these students, as can be seen through the number of students participating in the concert each year, and the number of students in the program. It truly is amazing to see so many music students all in the same place.
“Bringing together almost 300 elementary and middle school musicians shows how much impact music can have on our community. There is a lot of talent here at Bell and at our elementary schools. It gives our parents and teachers pride when we get to see and hear that talent all on one night,” said Richard Opina, Bell Middle School music director.
All three teachers hope these concerts can continue for years to come in this community, enabling them to share the joy and achievement of learning a musical instrument with their students of many ages.
“If there wasn’t any music in the world, life would be boring,dull, and colorless,” said fifth grade violinist Celine Benasa, from Zamorano Fine Arts Academy.