In the spring of 2015, the Jack Straw artist team worked with 2nd graders at Lowell Elementary to create their own original poetry and songs. First, poet Samar Abulhassan visited two classes and helped them write their poems. The students chose their favorites, and songwriters Joy Mills and Levi Fuller wrote songs inspired by the poems.
Joy and Levi visited the students in the classroom to teach them the songs, which they then practiced with art teacher Robyn Jordan and music teacher Michael Anderson. As the culmination of the project, the students visited Jack Straw’s studios. They recorded their individual poems with the help of Jack Straw voice coaches Ana Maria Campoy, Gin Hammond, and Meg McLynn, and then played and sang their songs as a group with Joy and Levi.
Listen to the songs “Colors of the Rainbow” and “Letter to the World”:
Listen to the students’ poems:
Lowell Poetry and Song 2015 was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center and Lowell Elementary School with the generous support of The Creative Advantage, the Washington State Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, Harvest Foundation, and individual contributors.
Special thanks to Lowell 2nd grade students, 2nd grade teachers Ms. Rae Richardson and Ms. Jenn Sendak, art teacher Robyn Jordan, music teacher Michael Anderson, and Lowell principal Dr. Marion Smith Jr., who all helped make this program possible.
Photos by Sherwin Eng and Nat Seymour.
Samar Abulhassan holds an M.F.A. from Colorado State University and has worked as a teaching artist for ten years, for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ WITS Program, Jack Straw…READ MORE >
Joy Mills, on acoustic guitar and vocals, is joined by Lucien LaMotte on electric guitar and pedal steel, Tom Parker on bass and vocals, Jack Quick on keys and Mike…READ MORE >
Gin Hammond is a Harvard University/Moscow Art Theatre grad and a certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework™. She has performed nationally at theatres such The Guthrie, Arena Stage, The…READ MORE >
Meg McLynn is a Seattle-based actor, vocalist, and teaching artist who loves sharing her passion for performance with students of all ages. She is a member of the vocal…READ MORE >