Students, residents jam together at Oak Park
By Sarah Campbell
SALISBURY — Carolina Wood was “ready to jam” Friday.
And jam she did, alongside fellow musicians from West Rowan High School’s wind ensemble and residents at Oak Park retirement community.
Wood, a junior, played the flute while members of Oak Park’s band used eclectic instruments like washboards, bells and a washtub bass.
Ella Freeman, an Oak Park resident, jumped and twirled around as she conducted the two bands in a version of “You are my Sunshine” arranged by West senior H.A. Hoffman.
“It was wonderful. I might be 89 years old, but I can still move,” she said. “I had a lot of fun with it. Really, I enjoyed it more than you’ll ever know.”
Bart Bartholomew, an Oak Park resident who played a washboard, said he had fun performing with the students.
“It will give us a boost to get some more songs and try something like this again,” he said. “I hope the people listening enjoyed it as much as we did.”
Foster Dionne brought music to Oak Park when he wanted to create a band in which he would play the washtub bass. The band was a hit and now they practice every Thursday and perform at various spots around Salisbury.
“There’s nothing scientific about it,” he said. “It’s just a group of people getting together to have fun.”
Alillie Brady, a junior trumpet player, said Friday’s performance was like the “joining of two generations in one kind of language.”
“Music makes everyone feel good,” she said.
Friday wasn’t the first time West Rowan band students performed at Oak Park, but it is was the first time the two bands played together.
West band director Daniel Trivette said he was “ecstatic” about the collaboration.
“I think it’s a fantastic idea,” he said. “Music really is the universal language and lifts everyone’s spirits.”
After the two bands performed, West students stuck around to play three more songs for the residents.
Trivette said the students rarely have an opportunity to play concerts at school during the spring semester, so he likes to branch out.
“A large part of our vision for the band program at West Rowan is to get out of the school walls and into the community,” he said. “Why leave such talented students cooped up in our auditorium where most people will never see them?”
Trivette said one of his primary goals is to not only teach students about music, but to teach them how to become better people through music.
“Although it’s great to know that a student is involved in the band and loves music, it’s far greater for them to share their talent with others,” he said. “And for them to not only see others’ appreciation for their musical gift, but to see that their concerts can light up their audience’s faces, that music really does transcend all boundaries and time.”
Wood said she looks forward to performing at Oak Park.
“We love coming out here to play,” she said. “We would do it all the time if we could.”
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.
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