Recently, the bluegrass band/folk music group Run Boy Run came to Wabasha-Kellogg Elementary School to perform for students in grades 1-6 as an Artist-in-Residence Program. Hailing from Tucson, Arizona, this group of five includes a two-sister and a brother-sister combination. Performing a mix of their own songs and bluegrass tunes and music from the Appalachian mountain tradition, they left the students enthralled with their performance, the students getting to sing and play along and even do a bit of a square dance. The band was especially tickled that some of the students specifically asked them to perform one of the students’ favorite songs by the band, an original tune called “Little Girl.”
The band’s performance was facilitated by the Riverside Concerts Series of Rochester and sponsored and supported by Mayo Clinic and the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council and MN Arts Board. This is the fourth year in a row that W-K Elementary students have been so fortunate to get selected for this Artist-in-Residency program. In recent years, W-K students have watch and listened to The Klezmatics (a Yiddish klezmer band from NYC, 2014), George Kahumoku Jr with Da Ukulele Boyz (an Hawaiian slack-key and ukulele group, 2015), and the Nordic Fiddlers Bloc (a trio of Scandinavian fiddlers from Norway, Sweden, and the Shetland Isle, 2016).
Elementary music specialist Dean Gunnarson hopes that we will be able to continue to get these wonderful world music groups into W-K Elementary. He states that not only are these groups really fun to listen to but the students also get exposed to music and cultures from around the US and world, which he points out is in itself is a big part of attending school at Wabasha-Kellogg.