Music Comes Alive for Students at Clearpool

January 19, 2023

A school day shouldn’t be limited just to academics. Enrichment is an important part of education, helping to engage and inspire students in new ways.

Green Chimneys School, by design, offers an enriched academic environment with a vast array of programming, including life skills, music and art, therapeutic animal-assisted activities, and outdoor education, all based in experiential learning. Sharing opportunities to enjoy musical and artistic performance adds to this multi-faceted approach to learning.

One recent January afternoon, the students and staff at our Clearpool Campus were treated to a live musical performance by the Kenyon College Owl Creek Singers. The all-female a cappella group had spent the holiday break touring in the area and one of its members is the niece of Clearpool Social Worker Jennifer Gluck so they made a special visit to share their remarkable talent.

A cappella – singing performed without instrumental accompaniment – is a well-known form of music made even more popular through feature films and televised competitions. The Owl Creek Singers are a 50-year-old tradition at Kenyon, and the group holds auditions every year to welcome new members.

Social Worker Jennifer Gluck surrounded by the talented artists!

Clearpool students and staff gathered in the campus dining hall not quite knowing what to expect. The group of 9 women began singing softly in unison, artfully combining their distinct parts to maintain rhythm and emulate the role of musical instruments. The group’s repertoire is comprised of popular songs, both old and new, from famous names such as Aretha Franklin, Beatles, Abba and Lourde, and signs of recognition spread across audience faces with each new song.

A Truly Engaged Audience

A Q&A session gave students a chance to express their sincere enjoyment and ask some very specific questions about the singers and their skills. The first comment came from a student who was truly moved by their performance: ‘I just loved the music so much and your singing made me emotional.’

Students were also interested in how the singers achieve their sound, asking how they stay in sync. The group described how closely they listen to and watch each other to know when to perform their part, which was a great example to our students, many of whom are building their own skills to better focus on tasks and work in cooperation with others.

The afternoon ended with some excited new fans joining the group for photos. We’ll hope for an encore performance on a future Owl Creek visit!