Dec. 4—Holiday spirit is in the air and Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts (MCAA) is ready to host a series of music performances starting Monday to kick off its Winter Music Week at the Marysville High School south auditorium located at 12 E. 18th St. in Marysville.
Besides playing Christmas tunes, the concert will feature various music genre performances. About 150-175 students ranging from grade levels 7-12 will participate in the Winter Music Week.
"It really is about the students showing off the skills they've developed over the course of those first four months of the school year," said Matthew DeMeritt, arts director at MCAA. "We offer a broad range of classes and we have students with a vast array of ability levels, so it's a really good opportunity to see young musicians exploring their gifting, exploring their talents and showing it off in front of a live audience."
Winter Music Week, a free event, will begin on Monday and run through Thursday. Starting Monday at 7 p.m., students taking classes in beginning choir, concert choir and songwriting will perform. DeMeritt said these are three different classes which will be singing together.
According to DeMeritt, songwriting is a unique course at MCAA because it teaches students to use their musical training to write music from scratch. Within this class, students use a music editing program to create their own songs. As part of the event, students will be presenting their pre-recorded songs they composed with the audience.
Choir students will perform music in genres such as traditional, contemporary pop, holiday tunes and original holiday pieces composed by the students. DeMeritt said the beginning choir students range from all grade levels, not just lower grade level students who are beginning their music interests.
"It is not uncommon for students in 10th, 11th and 12th grade levels to take a beginning class to experience something new," said DeMeritt. "Sometimes we do end up with kids finding a new interest and pursuit."
The second day of Winter Music Week, on Tuesday, will include performances from beginning and advanced students taking piano classes. The beginning piano students will perform at 5 p.m. and the advanced piano students will start at 7 p.m. A wide range of music will be played from holiday tunes to contemporary pop to baroque music, also known as the style of Western classical music. DeMeritt said it is part of music standards for instruction in schools to teach students about a wide variety of music styles and culture. Students are not only taught about music that was developed throughout the last 500 years but also music that has been developed in recent years.
"It's the first time that we have had a live instrumental music performance in almost two years, so every one of these that we do, we're sort of relearning the process," said DeMeritt. "Students are relearning what it's like to get in front of an audience, deal with the nerves that come when you've got a big group of family and friends out in front of you and learn the process of getting up on stage."
On Wednesday, audiences will have the opportunity to listen to stringed instruments from performances of advanced guitar students and beginning and advanced orchestra students. Guitar players will perform at 5 p.m. and the orchestra at 7 p.m. Guitar players will also play a broad range of music from Christmas tunes to contemporary pop. They will also play music from artists and groups such as Queen, Adele, Metallica and others. The orchestra students will perform traditional music, classical tunes and holiday music.
The last day of music performances on Thursday at 6 p.m. feature students in drumline, beginning percussion, concert band and jazz band. The advanced jazz students will play instrumental, jazz based arrangements while the advanced concert band students will perform traditional, orchestral band arrangements, said DeMeritt.
"We are doing these shows free of cost because we don't want that cost to be an (obstacle) to anyone coming and checking us out but donations are always appreciated," said DeMeritt. "So we appreciate any support that people can provide."
According to DeMeritt, school donations can be given through the school, at the event or to the individual club booster groups. Every dollar the organization receives goes into the departmental booster funds which allows them to fund more specific activities like trips or helps the department raise funds for new instruments, said DeMeritt.
Following the four days of music performance, the MCAA will also present a showcase on dance on Dec. 10 and Dec. 11 at the Marysville Youth and Civic Center located at 1830 B St. in Marysville. DeMeritt said there will be about 30-40 students performing a variety of dance styles from jazz to modern with some ballet emphasis.
"We've got six days of performances all happening that are going to close down our semester here," said DeMeritt. "So this is exciting for all of us here at the school."
For more information regarding performances, visit https://charter.mjusd.com.