P.S. 132’s precocious musicians are continuing to soar new heights.
This time, the band, under the direction of their music teacher, David Seidner, were invited to perform in front of the New York State Assembly. Adding to the honor, P.S. 132 was the only elementary school band invited by the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), which brings school bands from across the state to perform for the Legislature.
More than 40 students along with a group of parents and Seidner made the trip to Albany last week, to play at the New York State Capitol building.
The young musicians doffed red clown noses and performed five pieces as part of the recital, which included songs from the Barnum and Bailey circus, Clarinet at Midnight and the Canon of Peace.
“It was an amazing experience,” said Seidner. “I could see the kids were having a great time. I make musicians not soldiers, and I feel very special and privileged to get to work with them everyday.”
Through Seidner’s continued efforts to empower his students through music, the P.S. 132 band was quite certainly a shoo-in to make the cut.
At the school, apart from leading the efforts of the school band, which comprises about 60 students divided into a junior and senior band, Seidner also teaches a music program called Music and the Brain to students enrolled in Pre-K through the second grade at the school, which focuses on the development of a child’s brain through the learning of music.
And that’s just the beginning for Seidner. Both the junior and senior bands have two and a half hours of practice twice a week after school. To think that Seidner almost didn’t make it to P.S. 132 isnow be unimaginable in view of the commitment he has made to the school and students.
Five years ago, Seidner had to choose between the prestigious Bronx High School of Science and P.S. 132. He chose the latter wholeheartedly.
“I didn’t want to be teaching a group of 50 students a course in music appreciation,” said Seidner. “At P.S. 132 I get to teach every single student who walks through our doors.”
The faculty and parents have supported him throughout his endeavors and he credits their fundraising efforts in making sure the music program and the band has remained afloat and only grown stronger despite financial cutbacks at the school.
“I’m extremely proud of our music program and our band,” said Beth Lubeck, the principal at P.S. 132. “The music really builds the foundation for learning at this school. I was really fortunate to hire someone as truly passionate as Mr. Seidner. It has really been a dream. And he is giving students the opportunity to apply to the best middle schools in the city.”
Once P.S. 132’s performance concluded in Albany they were invited to the floor of the Assembly where State Assemblyman Joe Lentol made a special mention of their efforts.
“The students of PS132’s band were outstanding,” Lentol said. “They did a fabulous job for state leaders, which gave them great exposure. I would definitely venture to say they were the best band that has ever visited Albany – better than the Rolling Stones.”
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