The Impact of the High School Band Concert: In the Eyes of Elementary School Teachers

Lucas Parent, Lion's Roar Staff

     There is perhaps no tradition that is more tightly bound between schools in Lincoln than the annual band concerts. In association with the holiday season, band students put in hard work for the first few months of the school year to play for elementary school students. The yearly concert gives the younger members of our community a break from typical schoolwork and allows the microcosm of Lincoln High School to further embrace the holiday season. Whether from Central, Lonsdale, Northern, or Saylesville, students and teachers alike cherish the tradition.

     Northern Lincoln Elementary, my alma mater, visited the school this past Thursday. Knowing how much some individuals valued the concert, I reached out to several teachers to gain a better understanding of the true meaning of this time-old tradition. Kindergarten teacher Nancy Andrews wrote, “this is my favorite field trip of the year”. She reflected on the pristine condition of the concert, claiming, “I know that it will always be a wonderful show”. When asked about what it meant to the students, Andrews made it clear that it was for sure a valued event. For the students, “Some get to see concerts because older siblings are in chorus and band, but many may not get to see music played live”. The concerts also give teachers the opportunity to see old students: “I am always searching for familiar faces”, writes Andrews. All in all, the impact that the concert has on the students is not to be underestimated. “When we got back yesterday [the students] were all excited to tell [me] which instrument they are going to play when they get older”, concluded Andrews. 

     Another teacher who I reached out to was my former and first music teacher, Mrs. Renee Moriarty. Moriarty teaches elementary school students of Northern early foundations of music to help shape their perception of the field. Moriarty, as a music teacher, greatly appreciates and recognizes the impact of the annual festivities. “As far as myself as how I feel… very proud!”, emphasized Moriarty. With the perspective of someone who lives in music, who teaches in music, and who has a great passion for music, Moriarty takes “pride in knowing that I had some small part in planting the seed in them to love music”. The band would surely be a smaller group if not for the elementary school teachers that start students on their journey through music, allowing them to pick one of the countless paths. Furthermore, both teachers resonated with the idea of loving to be able to see former students performing for the next generation. Moriarty claimed, “I know for a fact that the elementary teachers absolutely love seeing their former students who are involved in the band or chorus”. 

     As evident in the accounts of the teachers, the yearly band (and chorus) concerts are a cherished tradition that leads the students of tomorrow down a path of musical expertise. Now as a high schooler, I still remember the band concerts of the early 2010s, when I was standing in the shoes of the younglings of the present. While I chose another path, it’s needless to say that the band concerts serve as a positive impact on the future lives of many of the to-be composers and performers of Lincoln.