Sauk Trail students have been enjoying many exciting musical performing experiences to finish up the school year, including a special one on May 28.
A professional jazz group composed of Laurie Lang Croasdale (bass), Sally de Broux (vocals), Chris Wagoner (violin and mandolin), and Sauk Trail music teacher John Becker (drums and piano) were joined by MHS senior Max Newcomer on alto saxophone and piano in performing a concert for Sauk Trail students.
Many Sauk Trail kids “sat in” as improvisers with scat singing, playing string instruments, xylophone, or other vocals. Also joining the band for a song was parent and professional vocalist Cecilie Ballard.
In the weeks prior to this event, Croasdale also did a jazz residency in Becker’s music classes. Five MHS jazz students also came to Sauk Trail music class as part of this residency: Andrew Stine, Jonathan Downs, Amanda Roesch, Lucy Croasdale, and Newcomer.
"I would like to thank so much the Madison Jazz Society, and our MCPASD school district through a Global Initiative Grant, for funding these inspiring experiences for our students,” Becker said.
Each Sauk Trail student also performed for families in musical plays at the end of May. Students in kindergarten through second grade performed Tom Sawyer, while students in grades 3 and 4 performerd Willy Wonka Kids. Bryce St. Peter and her Sauk Trail art students created scenery backdrops for the shows.
As the finale of their year-long in-school residency with the Madison Symphony, kindergarten through third-grade students attended the culminating concert at the Overture Center in Madison.
"Thanks to our awesome Sauk Trail PTO for funding the field trip to the Overture Center, as well as the Madison Symphony and their sponsors for offering this wonderful residency for our students,'' Becker said. "My hope is that these experiences with the performing arts at a young age foster not only a lifetime love of music, but also build creative skills that will help them succeed in whatever they choose to do in life.''