Chamisa Elementary School music teacher Megan Tholen, along with PE teacher Justin Black, led the Drums Alive workshop during the 2nd Annual North Central General Music Festival. Courtesy/LAPS
LAPS elementary students sing in the choir during the North Central General Music Festival. Courtesy/LAPS
Elementary school students from Los Alamos joined students from Santa Fe for the 2nd Annual North Central New Mexico Music Educators General Music Festival on feb. 25 at El Camino Real Academy in Santa Fe.
Around 95 students participated in a variety of music workshops culminating in a performance for families and friends. The Choir was led by the distinguished Albuquerque Music Teacher Julie Rombach-Kendall.
Valerie Collins, music teacher at Barranca Mesa Elementary School and vice-president of General Music for the North Central New Mexico Music Educators District IV, initiated this festival in 2020. She collaborated with lead teachers from Santa Fe and Los Alamos to organize the 1st Music Festival held just prior to the closure of schools due to the pandemic, and again for this 2nd Festival. It is intended to be an annual event.
Music workshops included Drama, Marimba, Drums Alive, Ukulele, Orff and Line Dancing. Chamisa Elementary music teacher Megan Tholen, along with Justin Black, Chamisa Elementary’s PE teacher, led the workshops and performance of Drums Alive. Aspen Elementary School music teacher Jacob Lucero led the Ukulele workshop and also performed.
Piñon Elementary School music teacher Nicholas Montoya-Valdez played the drumming part in Kusimama, one of the songs performed by the choir.
Galina Austin, Mountain Elementary School’s music teacher, helped with supervision.
“Everyone had a job to do and it came out in the most beautiful way,” she said.
Plans are being made to host this event again next year.