3 districts put on elementary honors band concert
MEDINA – It was a first-ever concert for elementary band students last Thursday. A group of top musicians from three elementary schools got together for a concert – in the summer.
Nearly 100 first- and second-year instrumental musicians from Albion, Lyndonville and Medina rehearsed last week for four days before a Thursday concert before about 300 people at Medina.
“We wanted the kids to keep playing during the summer,” said Jeanette Sheliga of Medina, who helped coordinate the program. “It’s a way to keep them engaged.”
Sheliga is the elementary band teacher in Medina. She and John Bailey, the band teacher in Lyndonville, spearheaded last week’s program.
Sheliga said she first pushed for the program with Wayne Burlison, the Albion band teacher. The two attended Fredonia State College together. They wanted to have the bands and teachers at the elementary schools collaborate.
“Wayne wanted to get the kids together,” Sheliga said. “The kids would become friends with kids from other districts.”
Burlison was diagnosed with colon cancer in December and died from the disease at age 36 on March 26. He was remembered during Thursday’s concert.
Sheliga said the three districts want to continue the program and could alternate schools to host the concert in the future.
“We were very pleased for our first year,” she said. “It’s something we want to keep doing.”