Walking through Eleanor Roosevelt High School one can hear the faint sound of music drifting through the halls coming from the music room. At different times of the day one can find music director, Kevin Hawk, busy at work with one of many groups that the high school has. This will be Hawk’s fifth year at the high school as he continues to help the music program develop.
Hawk is in charge of the three main groups – band, choir, and orchestra – which all perform both within and outside of the school. Within the school, the groups have their seasonal festivals which fall in November and December this year as well as in school holiday assemblies. Hawk also provides the students with opportunities to spread music beyond the school and into the community. One upcoming event is the Best of Coffee House on Friday, October 7th, 7:00 to 9:00 PM. This event features any combination of students to perform with a wide variety of music for the public to showcase musical selections students have worked on in their own time.
The music program not only helps students reach out in the community but can even extend further. One example is the choir that has been consistently invited back to perform at the white house by the vice president. Furthermore, all three groups are invited to attend competitions at the heritage festivals. These competitions feature groups from all over the nation and are held every two to three years. Prior to Kevin joining the program, the group had even had the opportunity to travel to China due to fundraising efforts! The music program at Eleanor Roosevelt is continuously trying to better both their program and students and the Greenbelt Community Foundation (GCF) has been a big help in their journey.
In 2012, the GCF gave the high school a grant that allowed Hawk to purchase 3 full sized Yamaha pianos along with seven guitars. Due to this grant, the school was able to help make up for the lack of instruments thus allowing more students to be able to learn. Despite the increase in instruments and improvements, Hawk still hopes to continue to develop the music program. He hopes to provide students with more opportunities to perform both within and outside the community thus encouraging more community involvement from both sides.
Sponsored by Paradyme Management, Beltway Plaza, and Greenbelt News Review, the Explore Your Greenbelt campaign is hosted by the Greenbelt Community Foundation to celebrate its 10th anniversary. This is series of 14 monthly events and activities that feature organizations that have received GCF funding. All are invited to attend to learn about these organizations and how GCF lives out its mission of “nourishing all of Greenbelt’s Neighborhoods”.