WEST PAWLET - Mettawee Community School music teacher Lisa Hoyt announced that members of the Manchester Music Festival (MMF) visited the school on Thursday, April 11.

"It's always exciting to have professional musicians perform at the school," Hoyt said. "It provides a unique opportunity for the students to hear and see a live classical music performance in a setting that is designed for them to ask questions and have fun with the musicians."

Hoyt pointed out that many students find these concerts inspirational, "resulting in a renewed interest in playing their own instruments."

"We were so fortunate to have the Manchester Music Festival's magnificent musicians come to our school to perform two separate sessions," said Mettawee Community School Principal Brooke DeBonis.

There were separate performances for Kindergarten, and first and second graders and then a longer session for grades three through six.

"This was an amazing opportunity for our students to see talented musicians in action and to hear different instruments being played," said DeBonis.

DeBonis said she even thinks this event may have encouraged some students to, " . . . step up and play an instrument for the first time," or perhaps, echoing the thoughts of Hoyt, " . . . motivate our current band students to practice more."

Manchester Musical Festival violinist, Joana Genova explained that the theme of the school residency and outreach this year is "Musical Jokes,"classical music with a sense of humor.


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Genova, who is the Education Director of the MMF, and her fellow violinist Heather Braun, along with violist Ariel Rudiakov, the Artistic Director of the Manchester Music Festival, and cellist Benjamin Capps, will be joined by former MMF Young Artist, flutist Susanna Loewy. This quintet will present "Musical Jokes" playing humorous works by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Quincy Porter, Villa-Lobos and Verdi, as well as compositions by local students participating in MMF's Dare to Compose project.

Genova said the Mettawee Community School visit was one of several school visits scheduled in the Northshire area between April 9 and April 12. An hour-long final concert, free and open to the public, caps off the school residency week, taking place at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at the Mark Skinner Library.

For more information about Manchester Music Festivals' music education and concert programs, please visit www.mmfvt.org.