Symphony 21 Program Visits Pocomoke Students

Symphony 21 Program Visits Pocomoke Students
Symphony 21 founder Daniel Bowen is pictured speaking to Pocomoke students during a performance. Submitted Photo

POCOMOKE –  Pocomoke Middle School students were encouraged to expand their appreciation of music this week with a performance by Symphony 21.

Musicians from Symphony 21, a program meant to inspire and engage children with orchestral music, visited Pocomoke Middle School. Symphony 21 musicians use technology and the visual arts to create an interactive experience for kids.

“We were excited to have the opportunity,” Principal Matthew Record said. “We wanted the kids to see music opportunities that went beyond a rock and roll band or a solo artist with a microphone.”

The Symphony 21 performance, which was open to middle and elementary school students in the early afternoon, was open to high school students and the public later in the day. Record said the performance was arranged by Tamara Mills, coordinator of instruction for the school system, and funded with the help of the Worcester County Arts Council and Century 21 Learning Centers.

Record said he was thrilled to offer students the unique musical experience, particularly since Symphony 21’s founder, Daniel Bowen, was a graduate of Worcester County Public Schools.

“The interest level was extremely high,” Record said. “Students were able to see a future in fine arts and technology.”

Leah Cole, Pocomoke Middle’s chorus director, agreed.

“I really love the way Symphony 21 showed the students the different aspects of what goes into a performance — not just the musicians but the sound technicians and the videographers — showing the students to be a part of the music industry isn’t just being a musician,” she said.

Students enjoyed the way the performance incorporated modern technology and classical instruments.

“I liked how Symphony 21 blended classical and modern music together,” said eighth-grader Raquel Ndirangu.

Sixth-grader Rodnell Leonard agreed.

“Symphony 21 is a great combination of modern technology with old world instruments,” he said.

Because the group’s after-school performance was open to the public, Record said it had an impact beyond Pocomoke Middle.

“It was a great community event,” he said. “It inspired our kids but it also rejuvenated our community in the areas of art and music and technology.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.