Each year, new band and orchestra students have their debut performances in January, introducing themselves to their peers and parents. Called “Breakfast with the Band” or “Breakfast with the Orchestra”, first-year ensembles invite their parents and school communities to hear them play and then to talk about the program over juice and bagels.
This school year, ETM offers band at six partner schools and orchestra at six partner schools. Breakfast with the Orchestra at M.S. 529 in the Bronx, for example, was a celebratory event that drew many parents as well as ETM staff and a liaison from newly-elected Councilman Andy King’s office. The orchestra played a series of short pieces, finishing with a blues song that demonstrated their understanding of the blues progression. Parents snapped photos and recorded videos throughout the show, clapping and cheering for their kids.
After the finale, ETM Ensemble Instructor Brittany Kolodziej took the microphone and expressed her gratitude for the students’ hard work and focus, the school faculty’s support, and ETM’s guidance. Her huge smile conveyed her pride in her orchestra students. Principal Patricia Wynne then walked to the front of the auditorium to share her excitement about ETM and having a music program at her school.
“I’m so excited, I almost don’t have the words,” Principal Wynne said. “But music has become a part of our school here, so that I could not imagine us without it.”