LAB 5, as Chanticleer's In-School Ambassadors, had a very busy day in Oakland yesterday, interacting mostly with elementary school students.  This is LAB 5's last week - their session will wind up this weekend with performances in Danville on Saturday ( 2.30pm at St. Timothy's) and Sunday in San Francisco ( 5.30pm at First Church Scientist.)

Ben describes yesterday:

LAB 5 spent the entire day yesterday performing for elementary schools in Lafayette and Oakland (we managed to avoid the Occupy Wall Street tear gas!), ending with a choral exchange with Cantare Con Vivo's "Nova," an Oakland-based youth choir made up of middle and high schoolers.  We were inspired by the fantastic behavior of the elementary schoolers as we sang music in various foreign languages.  Their inquisitiveness and wriggling reactions to the more dance-y pieces was so great to see!

Some LAB 5 singers had to get up before 5am to make it to the Meher School in Lafayette by 8:15, so I brought donuts to jump-start the morning.  There, we performed in a beautifully painted mini-theater - they just finished a performance of Oklahoma - for about 70 2nd-5th graders.  Following the concert, the twins in LAB 5 visited a class where they had two sets of twins and one set of triplets.

Then we went to Lunch at Millie's Kitchen in downtown Lafayette.  After eating, we sang for our server "Deep River" and "Verano Porteño,"  filling the converted cottage with grateful sound (no, not burping).  Other patrons of the diner tangoed by as we flash-mobbed.

Next, we drove to Cleveland Elementary in Oakland, where we sang for about 200 students.  Julie Haydon, the Director of Children's Choirs from Cantare Con Vivo, organized this portion of our day.  She visits all sorts of schools in Oakland, supplementing music education for inner city youth.  We were such a hit at Cleveland that they wanted an encore - which we did before rushing to our next school, Lincoln Elementary.

At Lincoln, we sang for about 300 students.  When asked how many of them speak 2 or more languages, about 75% of the kids raised their hands!  And more amazingly, about 45% speak 3 or more languages.  One prominent language is Tagolog, so I had the LAB 5 sisters sing a Filipino song they arranged.

We ended the day with the exchange with Nova.  They taught us some of their warm-ups and songs.
We sang some songs for them.  They sang some for us.
This really was a fun day all around. Thanks to Julie Haydon and Cantare Con Vivo for facilitating such a fulfilling day for us! 

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