To present American history in song at WAEC

Every year the entire Warren Area Elementary Center’s fifth grade class gives a presentation in the spring. This year it is going to be about how the United States developed; the students will relay the story through narration and many famous songs. It will be performed on Tuesday, April 23, at 6:30 p.m. at WAEC. The public is invited.

The fifth graders have worked very hard all year for this production in music class by reading short bios, watching short educational videos and learning songs. The history begins with the Revolutionary War and ends with the turn of the 20th Century. Songs will reflect the time periods and directly pertain to each topic.

Through studying Daniel Boone and the Cumberland Gap, why and how the Erie Canal was built, as well as the pioneers’ exploration especially with rivers, students traced the westward movement. They also learned about the effects of the Gold Rush and the Transcontinental Railroad, along with the Irish and Chinese workers’ impact in building the railroad. Students watched a video about the Great Race, and how the Transcontinental Railroad met at Promontory Summit, Utah. Well known songs such as “Drill Ye, Tarriers” and “Wabash Cannon Ball” are some favorites that will be performed.

In addition, students reenacted the Underground Railroad in the classroom and will be singing “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” a song with clues guiding the slaves to freedom. The famous “Battle Hymn of the Republic” will represent the Civil War. “Away to America” represents the millions of immigrants coming to the United States at the turn of the 20th Century. Andrew Seyler will recite the famous poem, “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus, which is engraved on the plaque of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. The beautiful patriotic song, “America, the Beautiful” will be sung. The concert will culminate with Woody Guthrie’s well known “This Land is Your Land.”

All fifth graders will participate in the entire program which will include 17 songs.

In addition, there will be numerous soloists, narrators, many small groups, as well as some instrumentalists.