Music After School officially begins in October when we invite every grade 5-8 student from our partner schools to attend “A Taste of Music After School.” Here students are introduced to the core concepts of Music After School and are also invited to try every type of instrument that we teach. Students also enjoy a concert provided by our teaching fellows that demonstrates the strengths of each instrument. Then students get to meet the teaching fellows and participate in their classes by trying different instruments and experiencing what it really feels like to hold a trumpet – and try to make a sound on it! A trio of students perform at our winter “Mini-concert” in front of parents and teachers. In December our students perform on a mini-concert at the host school’s Parent Teacher Association meeting. Because many of our students have never performed in front of anyone before, they usually perform in small groups of three or four students. These students perform directly in front of their parents and seeing the smiles on the faces of our students and parents is always a treat In late January, the program resumes after the college break. This begins the real work towards the Spring Concert Once each year we treat our students to a fun extracurricular activity outside of our normal after school programming. This includes live concerts at our host schools or field trips to the university and elsewhere. Past concerts included guest appearances by William Paterson University ensembles and the Imani Winds, the Kronos Quartet, and the Ying Quartet. Field trips have included the annual Sphinx Laureates concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City. MAS students meeting Grammy award winning trumpeter Chris Botti at a concert at WilliamPaterson University. By April, all eyes are focused on the end of year concert. Our students will meet week after week, honing their skills for the final MAS Spring Concert, held at William Paterson University’s Shea Center every May. The final concert represents a culmination of the entire year’s work. Students perform solos as well as pieces in small chamber groups. What gets students most excited is performing with the Music After School Band. Our largest group, the MAS band involves every student and every teaching fellow who is involved in Music After School. The MAS band performs pieces from Essential Elements and closes with a Grande Finale piece arranged by one of our teaching fellows. Students prepare for an upcoming concert be rehearsing with our teaching fellows. For the past few years, Assistant Director Caleb Rumley has arranged popular tunes like “Happy” by Pharell Williams, “Let It Go” from Frozen, and “Roar” by Katy Perry. The MAS Band at our Spring 2016 concert.