Elementary students at ten of our elementary schools watched a newly commissioned piece from the Cedar Rapids Opera company called Charlie and the Wolf modeled from classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker. The setting is a modern day classroom where students learn about classical and jazz rhythm, harmony, melody, and improvisation. The one-of-a-kind piece also celebrates the uniqueness of each and serves as a reminder that everyone is playing with the same notes; we just interpret them differently!

“It is of extreme importance that we continue to provide top notch, high quality arts experiences for our students,” says Emily Barnes, elementary music teacher and CRCSD elementary content lead. “An opera performance is certainly one!”

Our crews captured the action at Garfield Elementary. The rest of our elementary schools will have the opportunity to view the performance next school year. This children’s opera is composed by David Ragland, Jr., with lyrics by Mary McCallum.