Press Release: MENC Announces School Ensembles Featured in WLC

School Musical Ensembles from Around the Nation Featured in World’s Largest Concert® on March 12, 2009

Popular Event Sponsored by MENC: The National Association for Music Education with Support from GATEWAY4M and Hal Leonard Corporation Raises Awareness of the Importance of Music in School

RESTON, VA (February 13, 2009) – MENC: The National Association for Music Education announced the school ensembles to be featured in the World’s Largest Concert® (WLC®) in March 2009. The World’s Largest Concert has been the highlight of Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®) since 1985. A sing-along concert linking students around the world through music, the World’s Largest Concert reached an estimated 6 million students, teachers, and music supporters in recent years.

A DVD of the program, featuring video recordings of school ensembles from around the nation, is available for purchase from MENC. Teachers are encouraged to play the DVD at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, March 12, 2009, and to invite the rest of their school and members of their communities to attend and sing along. However, the World’s Largest Concert can also be shown at other times during March. The 2009 WLC will not be televised on PBS. Local public access channels may carry the show (check local listings).

The school ensembles featured in the concert and their directors, all MENC members, are listed below:

Kate Offer, Conservatory of Vocal/Instrumental Arts, Oakland, California
Audrey Adair-Hauser, LaVoy Exceptional Center, Tampa, Florida
Christy Boyer, Meadowlane Primary Elementary School, West Melbourne, Florida
Darlene Hartley, Dr. N. H. Jones Elementary School, Ocala, Florida
Christine Lauen, Bonifay Elementary School, Bonifay, Florida
David Pletincks, Hernando County, FL and Powell Middle School, Brooksville, Florida
David Pletincks, Powell Middle School MicroSociety and Performing Arts Center, Brooksville, Florida
Linda Swartout, Indialantic Elementary School, Indialantic, Florida
Francesca Veglia-Dansky, Emma E. Booker Elementary School, Sarasota, Florida
Sheila Clopton, Robins Elementary School, Robins AFB, Georgia
Elizabeth Jennings, Oglethorpe Point Elementary School, St. Simons Island, Georgia
Catherine Pickren, Sugarmill Elementary School, St. Marys, Georgia
Cynthia Debus, Kamehameha Schools Hawaii, Kea’au, Hawaii
Paul Olson, West Jr. High School, Maple Grove Elementary School, Amity Elementary School, Grace Jordan Elementary School, and Horizon Elementary School, Boise, Idaho
Janet Sinks, Mt. Vernon District 80 Primary Center, Mt. Vernon, Illinois
Jan Rittenhouse, Bloomfield Elementary School, Bryant, Indiana
Gail Waller, West Louisville Elementary School, Owensboro, Kentucky
Sally Hermann, Bains Elementary School, St. Francisville, Louisiana
Nancy Bennett, Willow River Elementary, ISD #577, Willow River, Minnesota
Judy Jones, Hinsdale School, Hinsdale, Montana
Mary Cawley, Manasquan Elementary School, Manasquan, New Jersey
Jan Courtney, White Rock School, Oak Ridge, New Jersey
Suzanne Piombo, Lenox Elementary School, Pompton Lakes, New Jersey
Susan Redvanly, Clarendon School, Secaucus, New Jersey
Catherine Leon, The William E. Cottle School, Eastchester, New York
Bruce Becker and Katie Cromer, Queen’s Grant Community School, Mint Hill, North Carolina
Eleanor Nesbitt, Alamance Elementary School, Greensboro, North Carolina
Jeremy Tucker, Wells Elementary School, Wilson, North Carolina
Jane Waddell, St. Thomas More School, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Barbara Thomas, St. Helen School, Dayton, Ohio
Rose Mary Warnecke, Jennings Local School District, Ft. Jennings, Ohio
Barbara Burns, Carolina Springs Elementary School, Lexington, South Carolina
Ann Cheek, Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary School, Charleston, South Carolina
Nicole DeRuyter, Syble Hopp, De Pere, Wisconsin
Catherine Ashanky, Grove Hill Elementary School, Shenandoah, Virginia
Amy Lelito, Leslie Fox Keyser Elementary School, Front Royal, Virginia
Patricia Deming and Sharon Johnson, Grass Lake Elementary School, Kent, Washington
Carolyn Sweterlitsch, H. D. Cooke Elementary School, Washington, DC

The 2009 concert program is “An American Song,” “Ev’rybody Say Peace,” “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” “J’entends Le Moulin/I Hear the Windmill,” “I’ll Make the Difference,” “It’s Our World,” “The Star Spangled Banner,” “There’s Magic in the Music,” and “Ulili E/The Sandpiper.” A free 2009 World’s Largest Concert Teacher’s Guide, including the vocal and piano music, lesson plans, rehearsal tracks, and more, is available online at

This year, GATEWAY4M, producer of the animated TV series Wunderkind Little Amadeus® – The Adventures of Young Mozart (distributed by American Public Television and premiering this fall) lends financial support to the World’s Largest Concert. “The overall mission of Wunderkind Little Amadeus is to inspire a strong appreciation of classical music among children and to encourage them to make music an active part of their lives – whether through playing an instrument or singing,” said Peter Will, CEO of GATEWAY4M. “Our mission dovetails perfectly with that of MENC and its efforts to realize the World’s Largest Concert, an extraordinary event which demonstrates in a unique way the power of singing.”

Once again, the Hal Leonard Corporation of Milwaukee, WI, provides the vocal and piano accompaniment sheet music for use with the concert. “Music has an extraordinary power to make us feel joy, courage, energy, and even sadness, but what’s even better is that music has the power to bring people together,” said Emily Crocker, vice president of choral publications for Hal Leonard. “Hal Leonard supports teachers, students, and music education, and we are honored to be part of MENC’s World’s Largest Concert.”

For more information, visit

MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the world’s largest arts education organization, marked its centennial in 2007 as the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. More than 142,000 members and supporters represent all levels of teaching from preschool to graduate school. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. MENC’s activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Standards for Arts Education. MENC is located at the National Center for Music Education in Reston, VA.

GATEWAY4M – more fine music & media GmbH is an internationally-active production and distribution company for innovative music, TV and film projects. The Hamburg-based company is part of the HABIS Group, a venture capital company involved in various media projects. GATEWAY4M is licensing Wunderkind Little Amadeus worldwide on behalf of the LAR Little Amadeus Realisierungsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG.

Hal Leonard is the world leader in the music print industry. The company produces sheet music, songbooks and method books for piano, voice and all instruments, as well as band, orchestra and choral arrangements, music reference publications, children’s music products, accompaniment audio CDs and instructional and performance DVDs, all totaling over 85,000 distributed titles. With music education as a major focus, Hal Leonard remains dedicated to providing outstanding educational products for music classrooms everywhere.