Clark County schools get lesson in music, confidence from vocalists

Students smiled, cheered and sang along Thursday morning as an A cappella musical group performed at South Vienna School.

Cadence, a Canadian singing group, has stopped at several Clark County schools this week leading up to a performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the John Legend Theater. The group has performed for Project Jericho, in the Tecumseh schools and for South Vienna School. It also has performances planned in Clark-Shawnee and Northeastern schools Friday.

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The vocalists are in Springfield as part of a week-long residency with the Springfield Arts Council. Ohio Arts Council grant funds support the Springfield organization’s Arts Education Residency program.

The residency fosters the development of creative skills and the growth of social capabilities of students, according to the Springfield Arts Council.

One of the four singers, Kurt Sampson, said the group visits schools in the areas where they perform to both promote their shows and to increase music education.

“It’s our passion to go into schools and inspire kids,” he said. “A lot of music programs are being cut and it’s that much more important to come in and inspire the kids that they have a voice and can sing.”

Fourth grade South Vienna student Sophia Ripley said she enjoyed the music by the group.

“I think they had a lot of voice lessons,” Sophia said.

Sampson is joined by his three vocal partners Ross Lynde, David Lane and Lucas Marchard.

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The kids got to experience many different types of music in the hour the group performed. The four pretended to be time travelers with a broken time machine and only the power of music would be able to power it back up. They started in the 1500s.

“We take them back to Gregorian chant all the way through the present day,” Sampson said. “The kids love it. It’s educational and it’s a lot of fun.”

On the way to present day, the group stopped in the 1700s to do Mozart, the early 1900s for blues and some jazz and the 1990s for rock and roll. They finished off with Taylor Swift hit “Shake It Off” and Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.”

Sophia said her favorite part was the modern hits.

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Both modern day songs have good messages, Sampson said, and that’s important when they pick their songs.

“Our song selections are specific choices that we make that we feel are a positive influence for kids in schools,” he said.

The Friday night show isn’t geared toward kids, Sampson said. The group, which makes instrument sounds with only their voices, will have music more geared toward adults. The concert is still kid-friendly and will include jazz, older music like Eric Clapton hits and some modern songs. Tickets are $15 to $20.

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