Bravo! program strikes up
by Chris Wilson
Music programs, dashed from public school curricula by Prop.
13, are getting a boost at San Antonio and Summit elementary
schools in Ojai.
Wednesday morning, students at both schools were treated to an
introduction to Ludwig van Beethoven through the Bravo! Program
presented by the Ojai Music Festival.
This is the second year students at San Antonio have had the
opportunity to share in this program, and the first year for
"We are expanding the connection in our schools between
traditional curriculum and the arts; particularly music,"
said festival's education director Tim Pompey.
The program goes beyond simply introducing children to classical
music. Professional musicians Andy Radford and Steve Gross lead
workshops every other week with students and teachers. Radford,
a professional bassoonist with the Santa Barbara Symphony, taught
the program at San Antonio this past year and will lead the instruction
at Summit School this year. Gross, a French horn player and associate
professor of music at the University of California at Santa Barbara
will play for the students and lead workshops.
Teacher training includes music education and creative dramatic
specialists in a four-hour class on how to present the arts in
the classroom, and how to use the arts to teach other curriculum
subjects, Pompey said.
The prelude assembly, held Wednesday morning, introduced the
students to their "adopted" musician, Gross, who will
help with instruction.
Gross said he heard about the program through Radford.
"I'm honored to be a part of this," Gross said. "I
like the aspect of having music in the schools that's accessible
and enjoyable for all."
Leading the assembly "Lady Storytell," aka Carole Cooney,
led a dramatic presentation illustrating the life of Ludwig van
Beethoven. On the stage behind her, she hung pictures of the
German composer, his family and friends. Interspersed in her
presentation, Cooney played cuts of "Moonlight Sonata,"
the "Pastorale" movement from his Ninth Symphony and
Later in the year, the students will travel to Santa Barbara
to hear the symphony play and take part in an "Opera For
Kids" schoolwide assembly. Both teachers and students will
be quizzed and tested on what they've learned throughout the
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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Storytell, played by Carole Cooney, visits with San Antonio Elementary
third grader Alex Roberts after her dramatic presentation about
the life of composer Ludwig van Beethoven.