Gordon in the News: last updated 10/24/2008

From Classical to Hannah Montana: Wind Ensemble Performs at Elementary School in Lynn

October 17, 2008

Jo Kadlecek
Office of College Communication

WENHAM, MA-It's not often that the Gordon College Wind Ensemble includes a tune from the Hannah Montana television show in its concerts. But Friday, October 24, when the Ensemble's 45 college musicians take their instruments to E.J. Harrington Elementary School in Lynn, they'll perform a song from the popular show as well as a variety of circus marches and classical selections for a school that isn't able to offer music classes.

The Wind Ensemble will perform two morning concerts in Harrington's gymnasium for all the students in the K-5 school. Immediately following, the school community will host a reception in its library for its neighbors and district administrators, and has invited Gordon soloists to perform. Other Ensemble members will visit classrooms throughout the school to talk about their instruments and studies.

"Our visit to the school introduces Harrington children to classical music and gives them an 'up close and personal view' of brass, woodwind and percussion instruments," said Dr. David Rox, professor of music and director of bands. "Our college students enjoy the interaction and the Harrington kids seem appreciative and attentive."

The Gordon-Harrington concert partnership began last year, when Rox contacted Val Buchanan, program director for Gordon in Lynn, about bringing the band to the area. Many Gordon students already had partnered with Harrington Elementary, painting murals in the library or student teaching, so hosting the concert seemed a natural fit.

"We wanted to build on previous engagements with the school as well as bring in more cultural enrichment," Buchanan said. "The concert visit allows kids to be exposed to different types of instruments and at the same time hear from college musicians--many of whom are music education majors--about why they're studying music. It's a great opportunity for both."

Even Harrington's new principal has a Gordon connection. Michael Molnar, who began his new role this past summer, graduated from Gordon in 1991 with a degree in psychology. His experiences abroad shaped a vision in him for diversity and he has worked in the Lynn school district with curriculum and language support. Molnar and some of his teachers are also working with Buchanan to coordinate a November 7th visit to the Wenham campus for all four fourth grade classes. 80 children will experience many aspects of Gordon College, including the Phillips Music Center, as part of a broader vision to expose them to the possibility of college life.

"Our partnership (with Harrington) is ongoing. For our college students, it is a taste of things to come, and they leave the school excited about their chosen profession while the children learn about music," Rox said. "It's a perfect collaboration--a win-win situation for all concerned."

For more information on the October 24 concert or Gordon In Lynn, please visit www.gordon.edu or contact Jo Kadlecek at 978-867-4752.


Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The college offers majors in 37 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian colleges.