On Sunday, Feb. 26, Darlington Lessons Academy Darden McElrath, third grade, and Addi Nolin, second grade, had the opportunity to perform for nationally renowned piano composer, June Montgomery. The celebration recital was organized by the Rome Music Teachers Association and held at the The Spires at Berry College. Fifteen piano students performed, and countless family and church members came to support the students and the composer.
The recital opened with an introduction from Kathryn Nobles, Rome Music Teachers Association (RMTA) teacher and the event organizer. All the students performed their pieces skillfully. Before the recital adjourned, RMTA teacher Amy Neal read a heartfelt letter provided by Dr. E. L Lancaster, former Executive Editor at Alfred Publishing. Afterwards, Montgomery stood and gave a thank you speech for the teachers and attendees, and shared encouraging words for the piano students. She revealed that she had been a cheerleader, and softball pitcher in high school, and gave the students a warning.
"If the call of other activities is really strong, think seriously about your piano lessons," said Montgomery. "You’ll be glad if you keep on taking. [Music is] not only fun, but it touches our souls like nothing else does...Music can enhance our joy when we’re happy, it can comfort us when we’re disappointed or sad, it can challenge us when we’re given pieces that are hard."
Montgomery reflected on her lifelong love of music, telling students that the best thing about music is sharing it with others.
"The music that you give to warm other people’s hearts comes back to warm your own," said Montgomery. "Today you gave me a gift of music that warmed my heart, and I hope it has warmed yours as well."
When the speeches were over, all in attendance enjoyed cookies and lemonade provided by Westminster Presbyterian Church and The Spires while students got to speak with Montgomery and have their sheet music signed. This is one of many enriching learning opportunities provided to students through the Darlington Lessons Academy.