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‘A Song of Peace’ with glow-in-the- dark wings

Comstock Park — Fifth-graders now have wings, thanks to a grant from the Comstock Park Educational Foundation.

The glow-in-the-dark wings will be unfurled at the upcoming holiday concert at 6 p.m. on Dec. 7 at the Comstock Park Performing Arts Center. 

The lighted wings will be used in conjunction with fifth-grade soloist Emilee Carpenter in a piece titled “A Song of Peace.” 

Amanda Hite, music teacher at Pine Island and Stoney Creek elementary schools, said students created the movements to accompany the music, creating “a visual masterpiece.” 

“They take great pride in their creation and gleefully spend countless hours at home and recess practicing solos and harmony in addition to learning choreography from our student choreographers,” Hite said.

Music Accompanied by Grants

When Hite got the keys to her music room over 20 years ago she found some cassette tapes, rusty jingle bells and a couple of broken xylophones, she recalled. So she went to work applying for grants. To date, she has received more than 25 grants, primarily from the foundation.  

“It has become my mission to equip my room with the tools that will not only teach my students about music, but will excite them and allow them an outlet for their creativity,” she said.

Her classroom now has 10 keyboards, Boomwhackers (tuned percussion tubes), drums and xylophones. When students learned at home during building closures due to COVID, the foundation provided funds to create individual instrument bags for each student.

“Who knew that pool noodles cut with a bread knife would provide an inexpensive sand block sound?” Hite asked. “It was quite a revelation, and I still use them often.”

After getting fitted with their new wings, Pine Island Elementary fifth-graders practice for their upcoming concert on Dec. 7
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Karen Gentry
Karen Gentry
Karen Gentry covers Comstock Park. She moved to the Grand Rapids area in the mid-1980s and has been a resident of Comstock Park since 2002. She understands the complexity, rewards and challenges of the teaching profession as she has five years of experience as a high school teacher at River Valley High School in Three Oaks, Mich. and St. Stephen High School in Saginaw. As a reporter for the Advance Newspapers and Mlive she covered Sparta, Kent City and Northview schools. She is happy to be a part of the great team of journalists at School News Network and writing about Comstock Park Public Schools. She is a graduate of Lake Michigan Catholic High School in St Joseph, Michigan and Central Michigan University. Read Karen's full bio


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