April 03, 2014

School group to 'rise up and sing'

Source: RA Reporter
RA chorus

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

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," he said.

— Dorothy Callaci

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