• Dec. 20, 2016
    Streams choral students spread joy and cheer

    Streams students As Buddy the Elf professes, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” The 61-member Streams Elementary School fourth grade chorus traveled to two assisted living facilities last week to spread joy and cheer during the holiday season.

    Students, led by music teacher Jeff Leonhardt, shared the joy of singing with residents at Friendship Village of South Hills in Upper St. Clair and at Broadmore Senior Living at Lakemont Farms in nearby Bridgeville.

    The chorus performed several holiday favorites including:
    • “Kookaburra,” a concert arrangement of the Australian folk song
    • “Rainbow Day,” by Linda Williams
    • “Winter Fantasy,” by Jill Gallina
    • “A Time To Remember,” a partner song by John Jacobson sung with “America”
    • “The Water Is Wide,” an arrangement by Mr. Leonhardt of the Scottish folk song
    • “I Like To Sing,” by Teresa Jennings
    “Performing outreach concerts helps to create a connection between the surrounding community and the school district,” Mr. Leonhardt said. “Our senior citizens enjoy seeing and hearing the students perform, it helps bring a bit of holiday spirit into their lives and let's them know we are thinking of them.”

    Streams students also delivered cheerful, holiday-themed artwork – created by students in kindergarten through grade 4. School Counselor Leslie Smirniw coordinated with grade level teachers. Each grade level created a different item including holiday banners, cards, placemats, mitten jokes and wreath ornaments.

    In addition to the tangible benefits that musicians gain from preparing, performing and reflecting, community outreach performances offer students the opportunity to gain empathy and an awareness of those around them.

    “It helps our students to appreciate and value people in circumstances very different from their own and broadens their view of their neighbors,” Mr. Leonhardt said.