Schools celebrate friendship through music
Not far from the Commodore Barry Bridge, happy voices filled an auditorium on a recent Friday night as students from Goshen Friends School in West Chester traveled to Frederick Douglass Christian School in Chester for a collaborative concert dubbed “unforgettable.”
“It’s certainly to celebrate Black History Month, but it’s more the coming together of communities,” explained Michael McIntyre, head of school at Frederick Douglass.
Charmagne DeVinney, who teaches music at both the Chester and East Goshen elementary schools, championed the idea, now in its fifth year.
“What I think is special is the children are meeting as equals. And when they join together and sing, it just doubles our joy,” she said.
More than 150 supporters enjoyed songs like “Ebony and Ivory,” “What the World Needs Now is Love” and even “Here We Go” — a Steelers anthem and favorite of retired Frederick Douglass principal Pat Vallot, the evening’s honoree.
“Charmagne DeVinney herself — she’s the link between the two schools for suburban and urban. Because this has been her dream, it’s been a dream for me as well,” Vallot described. Students also connect on “Friendship Day,” held at Goshen Friends every fall.
“All of the children from both schools just rise up and embrace this,” said Goshen head of school Mimi Blackwell. “I absolutely adore the program and the relationship.”
The fifth annual concert, celebrating friendship through music, featured students from kindergarten to fifth grade.
The students share a music teacher and rehearsed together the day before the concert.
Students wore matching “unforgettable friendship” T-shirts.