Fine Arts Are Blooming at Hillcrest Elementary!

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Antioch CCSD 34 has supported music education for many years. The orchestra program is offered to any student in 1st through 8th grade. In strings, the students can choose from violin, viola, cello, or bass. The students receive one small group lesson per week and one to two large group ensemble rehearsals per week. With over 400 students in the elementary schools alone, this program impacts many families within our community. 

A student in an instrumental program receives personalized instruction to learn an instrument. The goals of the program are not only to learn how to play and perform on a specific instrument, but to develop well-rounded musicians, students, and future community members. Learning a musical instrument helps students’ brain development, builds confidence, and teaches a student how to work towards a goal. Performing in an ensemble also helps with many social-emotional skills including working together, listening to one another, helping one another, and being part of a community. 

There are three main levels in the elementary schools: Beginning Orchestra, Intermediate Orchestra, and Concert Orchestra. The different levels focus on different techniques involved in learning a string instrument. Students have two concerts per year as well as extra performances within the community each school year. 

In addition to our various orchestras, band is always in bloom at Hillcrest Elementary School! The elementary bands showcased their hard work at their January concert. Elementary band has two tiers. The Beginning Band is open to 4th and 5th grade students in their first year of learning a band instrument. The 5th Grade Band is made up of second year students in band. These musicians come together to rehearse as a district band twice a week and it is hosted at AUGS. Their spring concert is at AUGS on April 20th at 7pm. The audience will hear railroad songs, folk music, and classic rock among other genres of music. We hope you can join us to hear our budding musicians!

Although enrollment in orchestra and band are optional, each student at Hillcrest gets to participate in general music. In these classes, children are learning and practicing note literacy, reading rhythms, playing instruments, composing, expressing themselves through movement, and, or course having fun! Our spring performances include the 2nd grade concert on March 9th, 1st Grade concert on March 16th, Kindergarten concert on April 13th, Art Crawl on May 6th, and our choir concert on May 9th. 

 This is the 2nd year Hillcrest has had our 4th and 5th grade choir, the Hurricane Singers! This group meets once a week during the day and puts together three performances. Not only do we sing at our choir concert, we also sing at the Art Crawl and the District 117 choir festival. We have a phenomenal group of singers! This is also the first year that our choirs are combining with AUGS for one big D34 choir concert! We are so excited for the opportunity to collaborate with the middle school and for our students to see the choir program at AUGS.

With all of the musical offerings at Hillcrest, it’s important to recognize the amazing talent and creativity that are cultivated in our art room as well. Each elementary student, kindergarten through 5th grade, has art for 30 minutes once a week, and for many of our kids, this special is among the highlights of their elementary experience. It’s amazing how much they learn about the elements and principles of art, art appreciation, art history, and careers in art. It’s incredible to see how excited they are to discover, explore, and create. This year, 5th grade students at Hillcrest learned about color theory and how to mix colors to create a background. Then students learned to paint trees and texture to create a beautiful winter scene. Their artwork is on display in the Hillcrest library and main office. Stop by and see how fine arts are blooming at Hillcrest!