Sunrise Strikers find their musical mojo

Percussion group gives students a way to make music

With teacher Sandy Cazzell pitching in, Sunrise Strikers rehearse. From left are, front row, Rayna Carpenter, Lyla Vernitte and Ariel Lashley; middle row, Devin Garrett, Cash Honeycutt and Charlsie Nevels; and back, Jayden Alnutt. (Photo by Leah Wankum/Richmond News)

By Sara Seidel, Staff Writer

Young students who perhaps can’t sing so well can still find their musical mojo at Richmond’s Sunrise Elementary School.

They can join Sunrise Strikers and tap, beat and bang their way into a remarkably harmonious sound.

“I get to play different songs each day,” said third grader Rayna Carpenter, adding that the songs Sunrise Strikers played last week were “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” “Louie, Louie,” Sanders and Morgan” and “La Bamba.”

Through the new program, participants learn to play percussion instruments, chiefly xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels, as well as conga drums, according to Chelsea Frick, a music teacher who leads the group.

When Frick joined the Richmond school district last year, fellow elementary music teacher Sandy Cazzell pitched the idea for the program.

They shared an enthusiasm for the concept, and together, they developed it.

“When Chelsea came, she has an instrumental background, so she was all for it,” Cazzell said.

Cazzell, who sings and plays piano and, as a student, was herself in band, promoted the idea because she wants to give as many students as possible the opportunity to reap the benefits of the musical experience.

The complete story is in the Friday, April 7, 2017 Richmond News.

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