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Eleanor Roosevelt High School’s Winter Concert

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I’d heard great things about ERHS’s music program, and their recent Winter Concert didn’t disappoint.

The combined Women’s Choir and Chamber Choir, under the direction of  Michele Fowlin, sounded great, as you can hear for yourself.



I learned that the school has (at least) three string orchestras, including the Roosevelt Strings above and Symphony Orchestra below, all under the direction of David Yarbrough.  Wish I were close enough to get a decent video for you.



The band program has four different groups, including the Symphonic Band above and Roosevelt Band below.  Again, no video, and I especially wish I’d captured  band director Sally Wagner on tape because she’s a hoot!  I’m told she’s a fabulous musical director/teacher but what struck me was her personality, particularly when she broke into a tap dance routine to fill time during a pause caused by a broken flute.  She’ll be retiring in two years after 33 years and she clearly won’t be easy to replace.

You can follow this multiple award-winning program on Facebook.



The awesome Dixieland Combo performed in the hall before the concert.  I noticed that they’re available for hire and according to this, five other groups are available, too.


I wondered how this large a program is funded and learned that it’s almost entirely financed by its big fruit drive.  It costs at least $50 per student per year, so that’s a whole lotta grapefruit!

Familiar Territory

The event brought back memories of dozens of such concerts I attended over the years I was married to a band and orchestra teacher, and came to appreciate the importance of a good music program to schools and especially to the students.  Like all those concerts, this one made me wish that I’d skipped a second language and taken band or chorus myself.  As anyone who’s ever participated could have told me, they’re not just about learning music but about teamwork and responsibility, too.  They may also be the best possible way to friends.


Follow Susan Harris:
Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that first blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. She also created and curates the Greenbelt Maryland YouTube channel. In 2021 Susan joined the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Access TV. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog at GardenRant.com.

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