SOMERVILLE, NJ – The 39 young musicians who comprise the Van Derveer School 5th-Grade Band piled into a school bus with their instruments and music stands for a short ride Thursday to the Arbor Glen Senior Living Community in Bridgewater for a concert of holiday songs.
Led by music teacher Christine Wojewoda, now in her 11th year at the school, the band played “Good King Wenceslas,” “Jolly Old St. Nicholas,” “The Dreidel Song” and “Jingle Bells.”
“It was so rewarding, the kids were so excited to have an opportunity to go outside the school to perform, and the senior citizens were thrilled, they all had big smiles on their faces,” Wojewoda said. “We got lots of compliments and they were surprised at how well they performed,” she added.
“It was really fantastic; the kids were so happy afterwards. A lot of them said “We’d go back and play again, they were such a great audience,' ” the band director said.
There is a possibility the band will return to Arbor in the spring, and there’s a good chance this year’s inaugural holiday performance may become a new Van Derveer tradition, Wojewoda said.