WILLOW LANE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
There is a new club at Willow Lane Elementary School, the songwriters club, mentored by fifth grade teacher Ryan Peters.
Peters taught the 14 student club members the art of writing lyrics and they have embraced the concept and written lyrics and music for at least six songs.
Club members are Sara Bonaventura, Sophia Folino, Baileigh Mount, Sophia Zavacz, Hailey Wills, Avia Liakakos, Adam Burkholder, Megyn Herman, Connor Brophy, Sydney Weaver, Amanda Salomon, Gianna Bartolomei, Anna VanOrmer and Sarah Downey.
The club had its performing debut May 9. Club members visited classrooms in Willow Lane during the day and sang the songs for the first time. By 6 p.m. Friday evening, they transformed the school foyer into the Willow Lane Café complete with seating and free coffee and cake for the audience.
Some club members invited a friend to sing with the club and there were approximately 21 children singing.
"They have been working on their songs since the end of summer," Peters said May 9.
Peters said collaboration was a huge part of this club. Students agreed, finding the right lyrics to fit into the frame of a melody was challenging. Their ideas did differ at times but they were able to compromise on lyrics. Students said getting to know everyone was really enjoyable for them and it was a great cooperative effort.
The evening program consisted of six songs with accompaniment by Peters playing the guitar and fifth grade student Huson Peck playing the drum. Each song was introduced by the students who wrote it:
"End of Time" was written by Gianna Bartolomei, Sophia Zavacz and Avia Liakakos; "Summer Sun" was written by Sydney Weaver, Amanda Salomon and Megyn Herman; "Dreams" was written by Sara Bonaventura, Beileigh Mount and Hailey Wills; "Paradise Song" was written by Adam Burkholder and Connor Brophy; "Count on You" was written by Anna VanOrmer, Sarah Bonaventura and Sophia Folino; and the grand finale, "Willow Lane Song" was written by the Willow Lane Songwriters Club. This song was followed by a standing ovation.
Peters thanked Principal Anthony Moyer for allowing the students to have the club and perform, the parents and volunteers for their assistance and fourth grade teacher Ross Cooper.
"It was a student driven project," Peters said and encouraged people to view what had been recorded on a laptop computer on a coffee table to see what the students did on Thursday afternoons.
"Music is a way to connect to people. A song about Willow Lane was the first one we worked on together. Thank you to the school and Mr. Moyer for making Willow Lane a wonderful place," Peters said.
In appreciation for his dedication and all he does for them, club members made a cloth banner which they presented to Peters.
"He is awesome. Everything he does for the kids and the community. He's selfless," parent Maurine Brophy said.