Performing Arts Program Thrives at Sleepy Hollow High School through the Pandemic 

Sleepy Hollow High School students enrolled in the Jazz Workshop program display their talents by producing and recording the Stevie Wonder hit, Superstition. Composer Paul Murtha arranged for the piece for the Jazz Ensemble.

Renowned jazz musician Louis Armstrong once said, “Music is life itself.”  For those participating in performing arts programs in the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns, music has continued to flourish.  

“While many arts organizations have had to close their doors and cancel seasons, we are incredibly lucky to have a great facility, supportive administration, and an outstanding community allowing us to keep the arts alive in the Hollow,” said Performing Arts Chairperson Micah Sprague.  

The district facilitates this in many ways by making good use of the SHHS building and its large open spaces. This allows all ensembles at the secondary level to meet in their cohort groups and follow all New York State Department of Health guidelines. Bands even rehearse outside in good weather to minimize risk.  

All select ensembles including Sleepy Hollow Singers, Select Middle School Singers, and the Orchestra Chamber programs are up and running. The Performing Arts Department sends its gratitude to Michael Arias, the new Athletic Director, for making space in the gymnasiums as needed. Additionally, plans are already underway to produce a fully remote production of “Almost Maine” in January,  

In the classrooms, Sleepy Hollow Middle and High School students continue to reach the 21st century competencies in the Exploratory Music Program and Music Production Programs under the direction of Mr. Austin Day and Mrs. Lisa DiNome where they utilize various software tools to enhance instruction in this new environment.  

Mr. Sprague said, “The band, chorus and orchestra programs will be using software resources to create student driven projects throughout the year.  Many Band and Chorus students have already become familiar with Smart Music and Sight Reading Factory and are using them extensively for lessons and remote instruction.” 

An example is the Sleepy Hollow Jazz Workshop program where students produced a recording of the Stevie Wonder hit, Superstition, arranged for the Jazz Ensemble by composer Paul Murtha. This program has been developed as a way for students to continue to access jazz education and deepen their understanding of the genre outside of the traditional ensemble setting.

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