On December 19th, Fine Arts students at Roberto Clemente Community Academy participated in Winterfest 2017. Winterfest is an opportunity for students to showcase some of the work they have learned in Art, Steel Drums, Beginning Band, Advanced Band, Piano Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, and Drumline. This was an exciting year for Clemente with over 140 students performing on stage!
We are able to offer to perform arts courses to many students due to the generous grant we were awarded last year. Mr. Holland’s Opus and StubHub awarded us $42,000 in musical instruments. The music department received several brand new instruments: six flutes, eight clarinets, eight trumpets, two alto saxophones, two tenor saxophones, one tuba, and two steel drums. This grant gave more students an opportunity to learn an instrument and participate in music ensembles. Prior to receiving the grant students were required to share instruments and classes were capped short due to the limited amount of instruments we owned.
The Winterfest not only gave students an opportunity to perform holiday favorites for parents, teachers, administration, and community members, but students were also able to see what their peers have learned thus far. The dress rehearsal was exciting to witness as students were cheering on other groups and recognizing their friends on stage. Some students were mesmerized by other performing groups. “Steel Drums were so cool! Can I sign-up for that class next year?” asked by Freshman IB student Vanessa Portillo. This allowed students to witness and understand the depth and magnitude of the music department at Clemente with many students experiencing and taking a music course for the first time.
Many students were required to embody many of the IB learner profile traits, but there was a large focus on the risk-taker character trait this semester. Some students have had previous music classes prior to attending Clemente, but many have never had an opportunity to learn a musical instrument. After two months of learning their instruments, they developed confidence in performing in a filled auditorium. “It was nerve-racking, but it was worth it when we saw them clapping at the end” expressed by Freshman IB student Ashley Tumax. Overall, students were satisfied with the experience of working towards the Winterfest performance and are looking forward to the Spring show in April!