On Saturday, March 7, at 7 p.m., some 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students from Britt Elementary School will perform in a rock-n-roll choir concert at Snellville First Baptist Church. Members of the Snellville Middle School choir also will take part in the concert.
In preparation for the performance, the Britt students will take part in a two-day workshop titled “Electrify Your Choir,” led by vocalist Laura Kaye and dancer Nathan Blake. Kaye, who has worked with legendary musicians such as James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Lenny Kravitz, is the lead singer for The Mark Wood Experience. Blake, a world-renowned dancer and choreographer, is a former MTV dancer whose YouTube Zumba videos have more than 2 million views.
Nicole Guimaraes, a music teacher at Britt Elementary, is excited about the workshop. “Our students are getting a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Guimaraes said. “It’s an incredible chance for our elementary students to meet and learn from real professionals in the fields of music and dance. This project will truly be a life-changing experience for all of our students. It aligns directly with my teaching philosophy of Music for every kid and every kid for music. The workshop will allow me to continue the fight of making this world worthy of its children and will spread the positive power of music education far beyond the walls of Britt Elementary School.”
Students scheduled to perform in the concert share Guimaraes’ excitement. “I’ve never actually met anyone who is famous or seen anyone in concert who is famous, and that is what I’m most excited about,” said Lahnaya Woodly, a 4th grade student at Britt Elementary. Fifth-grader Achilles Campuzano Sabino adds, “I’m most excited to work with them because their choreography is awesome and I want to learn new moves and dances that I can use after their visit.”
The training session is possible due to a grant from the Georgia Music Foundation. Every year the foundation provides grants to music education, preservation, and outreach programs and projects at Georgia schools and non-profit organizations. “We are so thankful that we were selected for a Georgia Music Foundation grant,” said Melissa Madsen, the principal of Britt Elementary. “It is especially exciting since only a handful of grants are awarded throughout the state.”