The concert was organized by music teacher Steve Simpson and held at Rachel B. Noel Middle School in Denver. The performance featured song and dance by roughly 60 of the school’s 3rd -5th graders. A group of 33 of those students are part of the John H. Ameese Choir, which also performed three selections.
Colorado Children’s Chorale Assistant Conductor/Technical Coordinator Travis Branam chose “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” and “Chariot’s Comin’,” for the choir to sing. The set ended with “Do you Wanna be Great?” a song written by Branam with words from one of King’s famous speeches.
The John H. Amesse choir members come 30 minutes before school starts on Wednesday mornings to participate in the School Partnership Program with the Colorado Children’s Chorale. The School Partnership Program works with eight elementary schools across the Denver metro area and provides the schools a Children’s Chorale conductor and accompanist on a weekly basis in the music classroom or school choir, providing support with proper vocal technique, diverse repertoire, choreography and performance training.
“I’m not a morning person, but I love coming to John Amesse each Wednesday morning to sing with these kids,” Branam said. “We’ve had a lot of fun together and they did an outstanding job singing with the choir and their classmates.”
The concert featured songs by the combined group and the John H. Amesse Choir, and also included a dance number by a group of six fifth grade boys. They created a dance to the Michael Jackson hit “Beat it,” and the number received a huge response from the audience. Another student performed a song that she wrote.