2008 World's Largest Concert Performers Recall Experience with Pride

The Robins Elementary School Chorus performed “The Star-Spangled Banner at an aviation museum for a segment included in MENC’s 2008 World’s Largest Concert DVD.

March is Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®), a time to focus attention on music education in the nation’s schools. The 2009 MIOSM theme is “Music! Just Imagine …” MIOSM 2009 will include the World’s Largest Concert® (WLC®), as well as three new contests that allow MENC members and their students to demonstrate their musical imagination and creativity.

Looking back to March of this year, the 2008 WLC gave students throughout the United States and overseas the opportunity to use their creativity in song.

Sheila Clopton, music specialist and choral director at Robins Elementary School, Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, directed her students singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the base’s Museum of Aviation. The performance was taped and included in the 2008 MENC World’s Largest Concert DVD. She also worked with her students to create a performance of “Music Rocks” that appears on the DVD.

The Robins chorus performed a rollicking version of “Music Rocks” for the 2008 DVD.

Jasmine Reighard, one of Clopton’s fifth-grade chorus students, said, “Being on the World’s Largest Concert was really fun because the camera guy got to come up and take close up shots of us.  We sang ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ in front of the base’s Museum of Aviation. That was really special to me because we were standing in front of a B-1 Bomber airplane. My dad is in the Air Force and was an F-15 jet pilot.  I know these planes are used to help protect our country.

“We also performed ‘Music Rocks.’  We wore sunglasses and I was one of the singers dancing with a guitar to the choreography.  All of my friends were able to see me on the World’s Largest Concert as well as kids at other schools all over the world. It’s really important to me that my school actually has music. I have learned so much about music. I have learned how to read music and can now play the recorder and keyboard. Being on the World’s Largest Concert was an experience I will never forget,” Reighard said.

Another teacher, MENC member Eldean Hagans, a music specialist at Meadowland Elementary School in West Melbourne, Florida, said her students “still talk proudly of their experience” of being included in the 2008 WLC DVD.

“My chorus performed ‘This Little Light of Mine,’ and ‘Hallelujah, Get on Board.’ We are now ‘world famous’ because of our involvement with the [2008] WLC DVD project,” Hagans said. “I used [the WLC] for chorus recruitment this year, and I now have 90 students in class.”

Plans for the 2009 WLC are under way as teachers begin rehearsing their students for the concert next March. Teachers whose students will be included in the 2009 DVD are beginning to record their segments as well.

The songs for the 2009 WLC are “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “I’ll Make the Difference,” “There’s Magic in the Music,” “An American Song,” “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” ‘”Ulili E (The Sandpiper),” “J’entends le Moulin” (I Hear the Windmill), “Everybody Say Peace,” and “It’s Our World.”
Click here to access the WLC music and rehearsal tracks. Additional MIOSM information and WLC information can be found there as well.

 — Roz Fehr, November 14, 2008. © MENC: The National Association for Music Education