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Mamaroneck School Choir Sings at Board of Ed Meeting

MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Rebecca Charles watched as her daughter, Lauren, and the Hommocks select choir sang a Zambian folk song to open the Mamaroneck schools board of education meeting Tuesday night in the Mamaroneck High School's tiered classroom.

The board tries to begin each meeting with a student performance to encourage more families to attend. Charles was pleasantly surprised by the performance, which she said the students practiced hard for because it was in another language.

Sophia Danziger, a seventh grader, introduced the song, which she said translates to “All Who Sing with the Spirit Have the Right to be Called the Children of God.” The choir sang it in Chikunda, a native Zambian language that is sometimes also spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania.

Dina Madden, music coordinator for Mamaroneck schools, accompanied the select choir on the keyboard while another student played the bongo.

"There's a lot of talent in our schools," said Charles, a Larchmont resident. "I've had kids in schools in other countries and I think the program here is extraordinary by contrast."

Charles' children have attended school in Australia, the UK and other countries.

Michelle Sloan of Mamaroneck took her daughter, Molly, out of private school and brought her back to Mamaroneck's public schools mainly because of the arts programs, she said. Her daughter also performed Tuesday night.

Another student, Greta Maneker, 12, had this to say about performing at the board of education meeting: "It felt like we were in a courtroom," she said. "But the acoustics were really good."

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