On the evening of Tuesday, December 10, several young members of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community performed in the Whittier Elementary School Orchestra Winter Concert. Students in fourth- and fifth-grade orchestra played string instruments such as the violin, viola and cello.
Parents filled the Mesa school’s cafeteria to watch the students perform a number of songs. The fourth-graders played “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” “Orchestra Will Rock You,” “Serenata,” “Puppet Parade” and “Jingle Bells.” The fifth-grade students performed “March of the Pioneers,” “Ode to Joy,” “Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Spanish Dancer.” The sixth-grade students performed “Parade of the Elephants,” “America,” “An Old-Fashioned Dance” and “Let It Snow.”
Students in the fourth-grade orchestra were Brooke Butler (viola), Juliann Butler (violin), Nicholas Cortez (violin), Savannah Garza (violin), Kerstin Johnson (viola), Selby Leonard (violin), Marcella Manuel (cello) and Marcia Thomas (viola). The fifth-grade performers were Georgia Carlisle (cello), Chloe Johnson (violin), Hostiin Reina (viola) and Mylie White (violin).
“This is my first year in orchestra. I joined because it seemed fun and my friend is in it,” said Mylie White. “I am just learning and trying my best; I’d like to keep learning this instrument and also try other instruments in the future.”
Juliann Butler joined orchestra because her sister was in it when she went to school at Whittier and “it looked fun.” Her favorite part about it is “to play on the violin,” and her favorite song so far is “Serenade.”
“I wanted to play because my dad wanted me to. I learned how to play ‘Serenade,’ ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb,’” said Brooke Butler. “I plan to continue to play [in the orchestra] next year.”.