The Princeton Elementary School Melody Makers performed in front of crowds from around the world at the 27th Annual America Sings Festival in Washington, D.C.
The group, made up of auditioned fifth graders, participated and performed in the festival under the direction of Princeton Elementary music teacher, Hollie Heller.
America Sings was founded by John Jacobson, who combined music, community service, and hope in a noncompetitive choral festival. The festival’s motto is, “bringing the joy of music to kids who feel they have no hope, from kids with hope to share.”
Students from across the United States prepared four pieces to be performed in a mass performance. Jillian Malham performed a vocal solo in “One Small Voice” and Brittney Sisson was a featured soloist performing sign language to “One Small Voice.”
“Singing in front of all of those people made me feel like I was being an inspiration to others,” said Malham. “It was a very moving moment for me to sing on the Lincoln Memorial step.”
In addition to their performance in the America Sings Festival, the Melody Makers performed their own program on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial entitled, “Super Kids Fighting for a Cure.” The program was dedicated to their late classmate, Xander Pond, who inspired the students to do a fun, upbeat, and inspiring program including the songs “Shooting Star,” “Everything is Awesome,” “The Fight Song,” and “Happy.”
Aside from their performances, the Melody Makers visited several memorials, monuments and museums.
The students were also involved in a community service project while in Washington, D.C. Princeton Elementary School collected peanut butter and jelly for the America Sings’ joint community service project. The students who traveled to the capital then made sandwiches for the DC Central Kitchen to distribute to the homeless and less fortunate.
The remaining peanut butter and jelly was given to the Capital Area Community Food Bank. The students also participated in putting together “Kits for Kids,” which are distributed by the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project.
“I am so very proud of our students,” said Princeton Elementary Principal Rhonda Ward. “Not only for how well they performed by also for their awesome behavior while on this trip. They represented Princeton Elementary in regular Bulldog fashion. I would also like to thank Mrs. Hollie Heller and all the parents on a job well done.”