When Newman Elementary students gathered for their Newman Live! on Friday morning, they were greeted by Memorial High School cheerleaders and the Trent Middle School band, choir and orchestra for a fun-filled morning assembly.
Elementary schools around Frisco ISD regularly invite older students to their campuses to engage and inspire younger students, but the Newman visit this past week was special because it’s the first time so many fine arts groups were represented
at once at their campus since before the pandemic.
Newman Elementary feeds Trent Middle School, which has students who attend both Lone Star and Memorial high schools. Principal Rachael Gilbert said she was thrilled to have former students on campus connecting with her students.
“The spirit and excitement of students seeing their siblings and family friends is only matched by us staff members who have the opportunity to see our former students shining in the arts,” Gilbert said. “We haven’t been able to
do this in a couple of years and we are thrilled to have them here.”
The front row of Newman students leaned in attentively as the middle school students performed music that they knew would appeal to a young audience. The orchestra, led by director Shelly Phillips, played We Don’t Talk About Bruno, the choir, led
by director Lorenzo Gapud, sang a song from The Nightmare Before Christmas and the band, led by director Ben Kelly, had the elementary students cheering along with the school fight song.
“It feels like an honor to have them here to play for us, but I’m most excited for the band because I want to learn how to play trumpet,” said Kaeson Golson, a fifth grader. “I want to play when I get to middle school so I can
play trumpet like Louis Armstrong.”
Newman music teacher Blessed Onaiwu knows music inspires students of every age and she was excited to have secondary students performing for the students.
“Just like students find their special athletic talents at a young age, they can do the same thing with music whether it’s violin or voice,” Onaiwu said. “Every one of the students in the audience will leave inspired by the students
who are visiting.”
Gapud explained that developing a culture of fine arts starts at a young age and connects students to their humanity.
“Everyone is capable of sharing their voice and teaching students to be brave and vulnerable through singing can encourage students to do that the rest of their lives,” Gapud said. “It’s easy to get lost in technology and to feel
disconnected from the people around you, but all age groups can gather and celebrate through music.”
Secondary Fine Arts Courses
All elementary students engage in fine arts regularly through art and music classes, but it is not until sixth grade that they have the opportunity to select an elective in fine arts. Sixth grade students can choose band, choir, orchestra, theatre and
visual art. When students entire high school, they have nearly three dozen fine arts elective choices in everything from Fundamentals of Dance to Ceramics. Access the extensive fine arts course offerings through Frisco ISD.