Bend Area ensemble spends week in Brazil

By Mindy Kearns Special to the Register

July 23, 2014

NEW HAVEN — A dozen Bend Area students are spending this week in Brazil, showing music educators how American children play tunes “tiger style.”

The Tiger Music Orff Ensemble, under the direction of Rachel Reynolds and Kim Bond, will be among approximately 35 musical groups to perform at the International Society of Music Educators biannual conference.

Made up of current and former students from New Haven Elementary School, the ensemble will give a 30-minute performance Wednesday afternoon at the conference. The local group will also travel to a leisure center on Tuesday near Gravatai, a small district near Porto Allegre. They will meet a teenage group from Brazil at the center, and there will be a musical exchange between the two. Not all performing groups were offered a second performance due to financial and logistical issues.

The Tiger Music Orff Ensemble has performed not only locally, but also statewide this past year. Among the venues where they have played are Glenville State College, the Clay Center, and the West Virginia State Capitol for the state Legislature. The ensemble also performed at the Mason County Area Chamber of Commerce annual dinner.

Chosen from hundreds of submissions from more than 80 countries, the group worked hard during the school year to raise the needed funds to make the trip. Car washes, bake sales, a spaghetti dinner and talent show, as well as a “glow run” were some of the fundraisers held by the group. Many organizations and individuals also made donations to assure that the ensemble would be among those representing the United States.

The ensemble is comprised of Brian McDermitt, Jonathan McDermitt, Abbie Lieving, Mikie Lieving, Mary Roush, Amber Wolfe, Corissa Lloyd, Allison Tennant, Carolee Hoffman, Leah Hoffman, Emma Haddox and Grace Haddox. Several parents made the trip as well, and the group will return to the U.S. on Saturday.