Singing from School to Camp & Shoreline Amphitheatre
Rachel B. just graduated from Castro School, one of seven elementary schools within the economically and ethnically diverse Mountain View Whisman School District. For more than 30 years, CSMA has provided music and art education to the District’s schools. However, with the District facing budget challenges this year, arts education instruction was at risk. Fortunately, the Mountain View Whisman Educational Foundation (MVEF) stepped in with critical funding to ensure that their students would continue to receive quality weekly music and art classes.
Rachel loved her music classes, especially “learning songs from all over the world.” In addition to the songs, she says, “I liked learning about other people and cultures, and feeling part of a really big world.”
Rachel’s enthusiasm, performance and vocal skills led her teacher to recommend her for CSMA’s Honors Choir. In addition to other venues, the Choir was asked to perform with the San Francisco Symphony last July 4th at Shoreline Amphitheater. “That was amazing,” Rachel remembers. “I’ve been there many times before to see concerts, but when we finished singing and the fireworks went off with the symphony playing, the big screen was focusing on all of our faces. I couldn’t stop smiling!”
In addition to in-school instruction, Rachel has attended summer music camp at CSMA every year since kindergarten. This year, she is looking forward to enrolling in “Broadway Bound” with a favorite instructor. “You’re always singing when you’re around her,” Rachel reports. “At first this is overpowering, but later you get that she’s just pushing you to this great destiny. She teaches little things all of the time, and they pile up so when you finally see what you can do, it’s amazing.” Rachel’s sense of accomplishment is clear when she says, “You didn’t realize that you were learning all of those things!”
Rachel’s mother, Elizabeth, is constantly impressed with CSMA’s instructors. “They love what they do and are so knowledgeable, but can also reach out to kids. It’s amazing how they bridge the gap between any student who walks through the door to ones at the highest levels.”
“Performing has helped Rachel keep her focus,” Elizabeth concludes, and “her passion for singing has helped with her transition from elementary to middle school. CSMA has meant so much to Rachel over the years!”