Shanan Estreicher, a music teacher at
PS/IS 127 and a classical and pop song
writer and composer of incidental music
for plays, films and television, leads
his award-winning mixed chorus of sixth through eighth-graders today to open NYSUT's 42nd annual RA.
Many of the students singing tonight
were part of the chorus that won silver last year in the annual New York State School Music Association competition.
They are also featured in a documentary
— "Rise Up and Sing" — about the process of learning and rehearsing a song and recording it in a professional studio.
"Students learn to feel comfortable
about expressing themselves and learn
how to focus and listen as part of an ensemble
so they don't predominate and
drown others out," Estreicher said.
The chorus opens with the national
anthem and follows with three songs,
including one featured in the documentary,
and written by Estreicher, about rising
above life's difficulties and using one's voice for change. For more on the film, which premiered last April, visit www.riseupandsingthemovie.com.
Estreicher, a graduate of the Mannes
School of Music, the Manhattan School
of Music and Queens College, has
shared his lifelong engagement with music with the students at PS/IS 127 for eight years.
Although he meets his music students
only once a week, he works with them
throughout their middle-level years. He
makes sure they become familiar with
the vocabulary of music and know musical
notation, how to listen, analyze and
play, how to enjoy and appreciate music and even how to compose music to express their own feelings.
"It gives me the opportunity to give
something to kids they wouldn't get otherwise,
something to carry with them,"
— Dorothy Callaci