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Strings Program Debuts at Vernon School




Dr. Vacchio talks to violin students who are learning remotely  violin students in 4th grade class

There’s a new sound coming out of the music wing at James H. Vernon School. It’s the sound of strings plucking and bows gliding on violins and cellos as music teacher Ms. Melissa Kozee instructs the first class of fourth graders in the newly implemented strings program.  


The program was approved by voters in May as part of the 2020-21 school budget, adding a new dimension to the music offerings at the elementary level. The initial goal is to develop a fourth-grade ensemble and then expand the program into a new grade level each year. More instruments, such as the viola and the bass, are possible additions as the program expands.


Thirty students are participating in classes with both in-person and remote students. They meet for lessons once a week as do students who take band. In the spring, in addition to their lesson, the 30 students will learn together as an orchestra ensemble. It is anticipated that they will perform as part of the spring concert.


According to Mr. Anthony Femino, K-12 Supervisor of Fine and Performing Arts, there has been positive feedback from the community about the addition of this program.


“We are very excited to see where this program takes our students, musically, and thank the Board of Education and administration for their support and vision to enhance our music offerings for our students,” Mr. Femino said.