BELMAR, NJ — Music was in the air, and artwork adorned nearly every square inch of the hallway walls for Belmar Elementary School’s Annual Spring Concert and Student Art Show.
Family members and friends entering the school’s first-floor entrance for the May 18 event were greeted by splashes of vibrant color from the montages of drawings that covered the walls — from ceiling to floor — outside the classrooms.
Once inside the school’s auditorium, the attendees were treated to an evening of music and song by 133 students in the school’s instrumental groups and 153 students in its two choruses, featuring a wide range of musical ability.
School Principal Lisa Gleason applauded the students for their dedication to the arts throughout the school year, led by music director Tom Brennan, choral director Kerry White and art instructor Mary DeCotiis.
“I am most proud not only of our students, but the community support we receive for the long-term vision of the arts,” she said.
In fact, Belmar Elementary School has a stellar record in terms of student participation in the visual and performing arts, according to the N.J. Department of Education. In Belmar’s "New Jersey School Performance Report" for the 2015-2016 school year, 100 percent of its 556-member student body was enrolled in music and visual arts classes — compared to the statewide average of 39 percent of students enrolled in a music class and 49 percent of students in a visual arts class.
Belmar's annual concert opened with a selection of songs by the school’s first-year players, followed by a multisong rendition, including perennial favorite "Hot Cross Buns," by 53 third-grade flutophonists. Solo performances were given by Emma Rokoszak on flute, Eiram Gonzalez of baritone saxophone, Jackie Ramirez on flute, Khadijah Webb on baritone horn and Analisa Viterbo on trumpet.
Providing piano accompaniment were Athena Komitas and Nicole Tonny to the instrumental performances and Eiram Gonzalez to the Belmar Concert Chorus.
The 76-member Belmar Eagle Band rounded out the evening with a medley that included “Jurassic Park” by J. Williams, “Ode to Joy” by Beethoven, “Jazzberry Jam” by Dale Lauder, fireworks music by G.F. Handel and P. Gordon, and “Brontosaurus Blues” by David L. Wells.