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Carnegie Link Up to be implemented in New Albany in coming school year

New Albany Elementary School Principal Jamie Wright (standing left) and New Albany Middle School Principal Damon Ladner (standing right) are shown with Celia House, the new music teacher at New Albany Elementary School, and Terrelle Hall, the new music teacher at New Albany Middle School.

New Albany elementary school students will be able to explore classical music through a hands-on program during the coming school year via Carnegie Link Up.

A partnership of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and local patrons will make the Carnegie Link Up curriculum available to third through fifth graders at no cost to the school district.

Carnegie Link Up program

Steven Byess, Conductor

About four years ago the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of its music director and conductor Steven Byess, joined with the Carnegie Foundation to make the classical music program available to Tupelo elementary school students. The Carnegie Foundation provides all program materials—including teacher guides, student materials, concert scripts, and concert visuals—so elementary students can learn about orchestral music in their own communities.

Byess says the Carnegie Link up program is “the best, most exciting, and thoughtfully created performance-based and purposeful learning program” he has ever seen.”

Students participating in Link Up attend and perform in a culminating concert where they sing and play recorder or violin with the symphony orchestra. Students also compose and perform their own pieces inspired by the orchestral music they study.

Two years ago the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra started making the Carnegie Link Up program available to communities outside Tupelo. At that time the New Albany Symphony League, which has sponsored several New Albany performances of the North Mississippi Symphony, began work to make the Carnegie Link Up program available in local schools. However, until now appropriate personnel were not available to successfully implement the Carnegie Link Up program in New Albany Schools.

Joyce Sumners of New Albany, a North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra board member, speaks with Celia House and Terrelle Hall, the new music teachers respectively at the Elementary School and the Middle School.

That has changed with the recent hiring of Celia House as the new music teacher at New Albany Elementary School. New Albany Elementary School Principal Jamie Wright and New Albany School Superintendent Jackie Ford recruited House, who had for several years been teaching music in the Tupelo Public Schools.  A Union County native, House had continued living in New Albany while commuting to Tupelo to teach.

During her time in Tupelo, House worked with the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra to provide the Carnegie Link Up program for her elementary music students. North Mississippi Symphony officials describe her work with the Link Up program as “excellent.”

Two meetings this week have finalized the commitments necessary to implement the Carnegie Link Up program this year in New Albany.

New Albany School Superintendent Jackie Ford conducted a meeting at his office Monday morning, June 22, of the school and community people, who will enable the Carnegie Link Up program here. Those attending the meeting included Joyce Sumners, Collett Cross, Jean Ashcraft and Sandy Shaddinger, who represented the New Albany Symphony League.  In addition to Ford, educators at the meeting included Celia House, Terrelle Hall, New Albany Elementary School Principal Jamie Wright, New Albany Middle School Principal Damon Ladner, and New Albany Schools Public Relations Officer Melanie Shannon. Terrelle Hall, like House, is a newly hired music teacher and will be responsible for music education at the Middle School.

A meeting Wednesday evening, June 24th, of the New Albany Symphony League, was the kick-off of that group’s effort to raise the necessary funding locally to pay for the performance and other work by the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. The New Albany Symphony League has raised the needed funding for the several performances of the Tupelo orchestra in recent years. Dr. Collett Cross will lead the work by the Symphony League for support of the Carnegie Link Up program in the New Albany Schools.

Local organizations including UNITE, New Albany civic clubs, the New Albany Board of Aldermen, the Magnolia Civic Center and donations by more than 100 local individuals have provided the funding for the previous New Albany performances of the North Mississippi Symphony.

First concert: 2016 http://nanewsweb.com/new-albany-elementary-students-concert-how-and-why/

Second concert 2017http://nanewsweb.com/hundreds-of-naes-students-to-perform-with-symphony-april-21/

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