Several area senior citizens were transported back to the days of their youth Wednesday afternoon at the Smith-Cotton Junior High auditorium thanks to the efforts of 135 talented musicians who performed for residents of local nursing homes, residential living facilities and members of the community.
Several groups confirmed they would be attending the afternoon performance at 1:30 and Stephen Broadbent, S-C Junior High instrumental music teacher, added that in the future he hopes to expand the program, offering more concerts and perhaps taking the students to area facilities so residents who could not travel could still enjoy the concerts.
“March is Music in Our Schools Month, and I have always wanted to do a performance like this where we bring together young musicians and older individuals so they can share their love of music,” Broadbent said. “The older generations grew up with this, with stage bands and dances on Friday and Saturday nights.
“We want to help them capture that moment again,” he added. “Part of the reason for doing this is to help start that desire of a lifelong love of music in the younger generations.”
Broadbent said the numbers are growing in the junior high instrumental programs as well as the skills the students are developing.
“In the last few years our focus and goal has been on growing the program internally,” Broadbent said. “Now we are at the place where we are ready for others to see us perform.
“It’s really nice to showcase the students, especially at this younger level,” Broadbent continued. “It’s time for us to step up our game and show the community what we can do.”
Broadbent said several of the students play more than one instrument and there is a diversity in the skill range they have developed this year and through their musical education.
Music, Broadbent said, is a way for the younger students to not only connect with the older generations but is also a way to help foster a lifelong love of music.
It is developing that lifelong passion for music that Broadbent hopes to instill in his students and others.
“I hope my students will see and understand that there are entire generations of older individuals who have had very rich, rewarding and successful lives, who still love and continue to play in programs like the summer concert band and the symphony,” Broadbent said. “That is what I want them to realize is that no matter what they do in life, they can continue with their love of music.
“The quality of music education is very important to me,” he added. “But developing and fostering a lifelong love of music is my No. 1 goal.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484