New stars in music education at Troy Elementary

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 6, 2002

Features Editor

Carl Orff tried every possible way of playing and striking the African xylophone and, in so doing, a whole new world of sound opened up for him and he was fascinated by it.

That whole new world of sound opened up to those in attendance at the Alabama

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Music Educators Association In-Service Conference at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa recently. They, too, were fascinated by it and gave an extended ovation to the young musicians who produced those "striking" sounds, the Fifth Grade Orff Ensemble of Troy Elementary School.

The TES Orff Ensemble, under the direction of Teresa Sims, was in concert at the conference and, by all accounts, their performance was outstanding.

The students

performed on instruments including xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels and various percussion instruments.

After the concert, Hunter Goff, president of the elementary division of the Alabama Music Educators Association, called the TES Orff Ensemble "new stars in the crown of music in Troy."

Sims was very appreciative of the opportunity for her students to perform before such an impressive group of music educators and was very appreciative of their positive and encouraging response.

"It is a great honor to be selected to perform at the music educators’ conference," she said. "We were the only elementary school selected this year and I told the students this would be the best and most challenging audience to perform for. The best, because they would understand the hard work it takes, and the most challenging because they would recognize all of their mistakes."

The music educators from across the state, and some proud parents, rewarded the students’ efforts with a standing ovation.

"It was a very exciting and rewarding experience for our students," Sims said.

However, there was another recognition and more ovations for the Troy City Schools that evening.

Geoffrey Spann, principal of TES, was honored as the Alabama Music Educators Association "Administrator of the Year."

Spann was selected unanimously by the board of directors based on the recommendations of teachers, parents and community leaders. The award is given to administrators who recognize and support the aesthetic and academic value of music education in Alabama’s schools.

"These were tremendous honors for our community and Troy City Schools," Sims said. "We need to focus on the positive elements in our schools and do everything possible to support our students and school staff. I’m proud to be a part of the many great things going on at Troy Elementary School."

The students were treated to an IMAX movie and a visit to an interactive science museum, the McWane Center in Birmingham, in recognition of a job well done.

"We owe a special thanks to the parents of the students and the many businesses and clubs that contributed financially to our trip," Sims said. "We can all take great pride in their outstanding stage performance and in the way they conducted themselves everywhere they went. This was an experience our students will never forget."