CPS Winter Concert: A Collection of Fables

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Written by Marlis Kraft, CPS Music Teacher

Finding a theme for the CPS Winter Concert is always an adventure. Living in a multicultural city like Philadelphia, it is important to capture the spirit of the holiday season in a way that celebrates and acknowledges diverse religions and cultures. Our goal is for everyone to find some inspiration from the Winter Concert, from our 4-year-old Pre-K students to families, faculty and staff.

In each of the past 5 years I have worked at CPS, I have invited my colleagues to participate in creating the concert. However, this year I was inspired by the idea of fables because there is something for everyone in these age-old stories. At CPS, we try to broaden our students’ horizons so that they can step into their next schools with a rich experience to draw from. I grew up hearing and reading Fables and loved the simple truths they portrayed. Most of our students knew the story of “The Tortoise and the Hare,” but were able to expand their knowledge of fables through the seven fables performed at the concert.

The Process

At the opening faculty meetings, each teacher chose a fable that seemed appropriate for their students’ age group – and they chose well! Then it was up to the students and me to create performable pieces. In order to break up the narratives, we added instruments, movement, songs, and even demonstrated a science experiment! CPS Art teacher Audrey Jakab helped our students create masks, a giant sun, and mouse ears for costumes.

Our 4th and 5th grade recorder players had just learned “Oh When the Saints,” so we used that song to lead us through the program. Fifth grade even created an original rap for the occasion. The performances were not only entertaining, but also weaved in some good lessons for all of us to take on our journeys through life!

View excerpts and pictures from the concert below!

A song written by CPS students:

Never give up before you try it,

Never give up before you get it

Just one more try, don’t ever give up,

Never give up before you shine!

I can do it, you can do it, as a team –we can do it

Try it once or twice until you get it right.

Never give up before you try it,

Never give up before you get it

Just one more try, don’t ever give up,

Never give up before you shine!

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