October 2015 - McKinley Elementary School students try out the ukulele, bass guitar, and drum kit during the first week of the CMS Modern Band after-school program. Beginning in October 2015, this weekly group included 20 first and second graders, most of whom had little to no experience playing a musical instrument.
February 2016 - After several months of weekly participation in the CMS Modern Band Program at McKinley Elementary School, these first and second grade students were able to sing and play popular music on the ukulele, keyboard, guitar, bass guitar, drum kit, and bucket drums, accompanied by their teacher, Cliff Tracy. Their favorite songs included the classic “We Will Rock You” by Queen, and the current hits “Best Day of Our Lives” by American Authors and “Hey Everybody” by Walk the Moon. They even wrote and performed their own rap song called “The NBA”. Video of their performance can be seen below.
CMS continues to provide outreach programs in the Allentown School District. In 2015 we launched a Modern Band program at McKinley Elementary, through a partnership with Little Kids Rock, a national nonprofit. 40 students in grades 1-5 participate in the after-school program, led by CMS faculty member, Cliff Tracy. Students are learning to sing and play popular music on the ukulele, guitar, bass, drum-kit, and bucket drums with plans to perform at a future CMS recital. This exciting program is made possible through a grant from the Harry C. Trexler Trust.
In 2016, we are pleased to announce the expansion of the Modern Band Program to Central Elementary School in the Allentown School District.
In summer 2016, CMS teacher, Kate Uhler
led the Page to Stage program at Casa Guadalupe for Harrison-Morton Middle School students, which integrates the Modern Band philosophy. Also, Flutophone fun continued with CMS teacher, Elaine Martin at Jefferson Elementary and the City Arts Camp.
April 2016 - Highly engaged students in grades 3-5 energetically participated in the after-school Community Music School Modern Band Program at McKinley Elementary School. This group of 20 students learned to sing and play popular music on the ukulele, guitar, bass guitar, drum kit, and bucket drums. Their favorite songs included the current hits “Seven Years” by Lukas Graham and “No” by Meghan Trainer. Video of their performance can be seen below.
What is Modern Band? Hear from the founder: