Hundreds attracted to children's concert

"An old secret among South Whidbey directors is that if you want to pack the joint, get as many kids as you can into the cast.That philosophy certainly worked Thursday night when an enormous cast of 411 singers took to the stage at the South Whidbey High School Auditorium. Figuring an average of two parents per kid, that put well over 800 people in audience. No wonder the 600-seat auditorium was overflowing with proud parents.The occasion was the first-ever South Whidbey Primary School Concert to be held at the island's newest, most spacious auditorium. The timing was prompted by celebrate music in our schools month in March. Principal Bernie Mahar and music teacher Susan Morris kept the choirs of kindergarten, first, and second graders coming, with all joining together for the grand finale.There was no doubt that the auditorium was well built when literally hundreds of kids swarmed onto the stage for the closing number, This Land is Your Land, which included audience participation. The stage didn't even squeak under the combined weight of all those singers.The audience reacted warmly to the well-practiced singing, giving loud applause to every group and standing for an enthusiastic ovation at the end.The program included songs chosen by students, and some written with the help of students as part of the integrated curriculum. Through music, children can express what they know and share it for all to enjoy, states the program notes.Kindergarten -- Helping Song, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.First grade -- The Library Song, Make New Friends, The Garden Song.Multi-age classes -- Whidbey Island, Seed Song, Down by the Bay.Second grade -- Penguins are Birds, Caballito Blanco, It's a Small World.All: This Land is Your Land.Music was also provided by accompanist Sue Idso, and Island Strings students under the direction of Siri Sobottka and Linda Good."

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