From the Top at Carmel Elementary School

The day after taping Show #233 in Carmel, IN, our Education Team traveled with two performers, harpist Katie Kapelsohn and cellist Matt Liversedge, to Carmel Elementary School. They met with nearly 50 students grades K through 5 who take class with music teacher Cynthia Baney.

Matt Liversedge, from Wilmore, KY, is the recipient of From the Top’s Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award and attends West Jessamine High School.  He studies cello with Benjamin Karp and is a member of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra. Katie is from Bloomfield, IN and is a student at the Lighthouse Academy. She studies harp at the Indiana University Pre-College Program with Elzbieta Szmyt.

Matt opened Wednesday’s presentation by talking about the cello and how he first became interested in music. He then performed a lively piece called Julie-O, by Mark Summer, as a fun way to demonstrate extended techniques. Katie was next, introducing herself and her very unique instrument. She explained how the pedals and strings work to produce different sounds, and demonstrated the “angelic” sound of the harp by performing La Source, by Carlos Salzedo.

Our performers then played a game with the group called “Name That Tune,” having the students call out the title of the famous pieces they were playing. To end the program, Katie and Matt both performed The Swan, by Camille Saint-Saëns. The students had a number of excellent questions and feedback following their performance.

Teacher Cynthia Baney was thrilled and expressed her thanks to our Education team:

“The program was absolutely wonderful…I really wish all of our students could have benefited from the informative (yet informal and fun!) presentation. (From the Top) really framed the program well by creating such a comfortable atmosphere.  Our kids loved it and several of them shared with me that they hope to play the harp or the cello. I also thought that Katie and Matt were very engaging individuals who communicated effectively with this age group (another one of their gifts!)  I was especially impressed by Matt, who moved to the floor to sit near our eager interrupter, who was in turn charmed to silence by his proximity. It was a great strategy and also kind way to help that child by modeling a “better” way to enjoy the concert.Thank you again for the wonderful opportunity for our students. I only wish we could have had more benefit from such a fantastic program.”

Read more powerful stories about musicians making a difference by visiting our Arts Leadership Map!