Click HERE to watch video of the musical event
The Valley View 4th Grade Concert, “One Nation With Character,” was held Wednesday, April 19, 2023.
The original script, written and directed by Music Teacher Samantha Ivins, was based on the Valley View Elementary School’s award-winning Character Education Curriculum.
“In 2019, before the pandemic, I asked Dr. Kennedy if I could write a musical based in curriculum,” Ivins explained. “Dr. Kennedy said, ‘Can you write a musical about character?’ And so I did. Today’s performance was three years in the making.”
Last year, in 2022, “One Nation With Character” was finally performed for the first time – virtually.
“This year I am so grateful to have students perform this live and in-person, the way it was meant to be performed,” Ivins noted.
Students, staff, and parents were thrilled to be together for the exciting musical event. Integrating songs by Audrey Snyder, Beth Jacoby, Mark Burrows, Red Grammer and Larry King, Ivins created a script with music that showcased the character traits of Integrity, Peacefulness, Fairness, Respect, Cooperation, Love, and Tolerance.
“In addition to singing, every student in this production has a speaking part, as well as a part where they are playing Orff instruments,” Ivins said. “Everything aligns with both 4th grade music standards and Valley View’s Character Education curriculum.”
Co-director Bridget Maresca, a 2023 student teacher at Valley View Elementary School, assisted with the exciting and ambitious production.
Valley View’s 53 fourth-grade students did an outstanding job demonstrating character traits and punctuating their lessons through music.
“Today, in rehearsal, they made me cry,” said Principal Dr. Patricia Kennedy. “Get your tissues ready,” Kennedy added, as she greeted the parents who were gathered in the audience. “You are going to cry.”
Songs like THE POWER OF ONE, IT’S ABOUT RESPECT, CHECK IT OUT!, YOU ARE LOVING, YOU ARE LOVED, and AMANI, did, in fact, move the audience to tears. “It was a very moving and enriching experience for these students and myself,” Ivins explained of the production.
The packed audience cheered throughout the moving and informative event.
Valley View Elementary School is a pre-kindergarten through grade five school in Montville Township, New Jersey. Each year Valley View students participate in one or more of the school’s 6 musical productions.
Montville Township Public Schools is nationally recognized by NAMM and has been designated seven years in a row as one of the Best Communities for Music Education.
Video of the "One Nation With Character" musical event can be viewed on the Montville Township Public Schools YouTube Channel