“It was a year of change for the Chicago Public Schools—nearly 50 schools shut their doors over the summer,” including Lafayette Elementary, which has a popular string-orchestra program, writes Becky Vevea on Thursday (1/2) at WBEZ.org (Chicago). “Just four days before the Board voted to shutter Lafayette and 49 other schools, Artus Weible, the music teacher at Lafayette, directed his string ensemble on the sidewalk along Augusta Boulevard in Humboldt Park. It was a Saturday in May and Weible still had no idea what would happen to the program after the closings. But just before the holiday break, Weible stood on the stage in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the Chopin Elementary auditorium,” in the school where more than 200 children in the program have been relocated. “ ‘There was so much uncertainty and people going through the halls and classrooms…. It was pretty traumatic,’ said Beth Bistrow. Bistrow is with the Merit School of Music and helped Weible start the string orchestra at Lafayette 13 years ago…. ‘When I found out that Merit was going to be here, I begged my mom to sign me in,’ … [seventh grader Anayse] Soto said.” Included in the article is an audio link to of the school’s recent holiday concert.
Posted January 3, 2014