Posted at 4 p.m. May 1, 2017

Spanish instructor hosts workshops to celebrate World Language Day

“For our spring break we went to three elementary schools and conducted workshops...”

Sara Romain

LCCC music major

World Language day is a celebration of language learning for students in grades 6-12. Students, a volunteer and an instructor in the music and language departments teamed up to perform using different instruments to make music for World Language day.

Ian Caldon, a language instructor, three music majors and a volunteer put on brief workshops for high school children at the University of Wyoming, where they played songs that the children would know, showed them how the instruments work, let them try the instruments and provided handouts with the history of the instruments.

“For our spring break we went to three elementary schools and conducted workshops where (students) played a couple of songs and split into groups to talk about where the instruments came from and why it is important,” Sara Romain, a music major at LCCC, said.

The kids loved when they are able to get their hands on an instrument and start trying to play it, Romain said.

Caldon and Romain used to sing in a choir together year ago, but they did not really know each other. He got to know all three students better last semester at the Celtic Ensemble.

“I kind of just saw the instruments as I walked by and thought it was cool, so I came in and it went from there,” Ziggy Dilella, a music student, said. Anna Reich picked up a panpipe from Peru called a Zampoña and learned how to play it in around 10 minutes. Reich would learn a piece of music within a day or two.

“I have had instruments for years and I still cannot play all of them,” Caldon said.

The group had only been together for two weeks when they first performed, but they only rehearse maybe twice a week because as college students it is hard to get everyone together with their different schedules. Even for the workshops they found it hard to rehearse together. A lot of the rehearsals was them getting a song and going home to practice individually. The group members went to Paramount Café to play, and they also went to open mics where the audience reacted so well to them.

“These combinations of instruments and the songs we play is like the world premiere of the instruments in Cheyenne. I don’t think Wyoming has ever seen these collections of instruments,” Caldon said.

During World Language Day, the group members performed a lunchtime performance they thought was for 10 minutes, not knowing they were scheduled to be on for 45 minutes. They had to entertain high school students without any rehearsals.

“We made up music on the spot. We start playing a chord and go from there,” Romain said.

“We had also brought in two different high school kids that we knew could play the drum box from the night before to help and we just improvised,” Caldon added. They even got the sound engineer at the University of Wyoming to help out at the end of the show to help stretch the show over 45 minutes, Caldon said.

The group is already making future plans. They are looking at more workshops when LCCC school year ends. Caldon spoke highly of these students and cannot wait to play with them next semester.

“I am happy I am playing with freshman because I still get to play with them and only Sara can play the Quena, no one else can do that,” Caldon said.


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