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Sunday, May 19, 2024


A Little Bit Country and Rock and Roll at Maud Abrams School


By Maureen Cawley

LOWER TOWNSHIP — Students at Maud Abrams School went a little bit Country and a little bit Rock and Roll on Nov. 19 when local musicians visited the school in recognition of National Music Week. The line-up, dubbed the American Music Project, included: virtuoso banjo player, Lisa Tee; international entertainer and pianist, Linda Gentile, and Jim Yester, lead singer of The Association, known for its legendary hits: “Never My Love,” “Along Comes Mary” and “Cherish.”

The event was sponsored by the school’s Cultural Heritage Department, and it gave stu-dents a peek into the interconnection of music and American History. The program was also made available to students at Woodbine Elementary on Nov. 20.
As part of the performance in Lower Township, students were treated to a few riffs of the Association’s “Windy,” but the focus of the program was the history of American music from banjos made of dried gourds to Blue Grass and Ragtime and Folk. Students learned how music in a pre-electronics age was a way for people to entertain themselves and each other, and like modern music, it was a way to communicate about the things that mattered to them.
But as the students joined in for a rousing rendition of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land,” it was clear that the biggest lesson of the day was that music makes learning history much more fun.

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