Belting it out of the concert

Lined up in rows in front of a sea of cameras, video cameras and camera phones, kindergartners sang songs they picked out at an annual spring music show.

Every grade at Dr. Ralph E. Hawes Elementary School had its chance to shine at the Spring Sing performance spread out over three days.

The kindergarten classes sang for their parents June 3 at a concert in the school’s outdoor lunch area.

"I thought they did a great job," said music teacher Cheryl Toghia. "I’m very, very proud of them."

The students choose their top songs out of the 64 they learned over the year and voted in April on which numbers made it into the 30-minute performance.

The students sang a tango version of the alphabet song, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and the favorite "Down at the Beach," where students boogied and played air guitar as they sang about hanging out at the beach.

"They always do awesome. They have such a great music program," said Jill BertottiÖ , mother of 5-year-old Samantha Bertotti.

Bertotti said she is glad Hawes is still offering music with all the budget cuts, considering performing arts are often the first programs to be cut during tough times.

"As a parent, there is nothing that makes you prouder than watching your kid perform," she said.

The music program is sponsored by the Parent Teacher Assn., which allows a half hour of music class a week for each grade, Toghia said.

The music class is one of 5-year-old Caroline Williams ’ favorite classes, said her mother, Nancy Williams. Caroline has been practicing the songs she learned at home, Williams said.

"She sings herself to bed sometimes," she said.

Caroline said she likes to sing and thought they did "good," but her mother thought she did better than that.

"She did great. She was belting it out," Williams said. "She loves to sing."

Williams, like the majority of the parents, brought along a video camera to capture the moment.

"They’re only in kindergarten one time, and it’s just so cute how uninhibited they are right now," she said.


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