Schools cel­e­brate friend­ship through mu­sic

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FEATURES - — Sub­mit­ted by Emily Ryan

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.”

PHOTO SUB­MIT­TED BY EMILY RYAN

The fifth an­nual con­cert, cel­e­brat­ing friend­ship through mu­sic, fea­tured stu­dents from kinder­garten to fifth grade.

PHOTO SUB­MIT­TED BY EMILY RYAN

The stu­dents share a mu­sic teacher and re­hearsed to­gether the day be­fore the con­cert.

PHOTO SUB­MIT­TED BY EMILY RYAN

Stu­dents wore match­ing “un­for­get­table friend­ship” T-shirts.

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