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St Patrick's Day perfect time for Fred Ingold Music Festival

Beth Joy Fowler, strings instructor at Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts, leads her students in an Irish jig during a performance at Forest Hills High School during Thursday's Fred Ingold Music Festival.

The auditorium was filled with the lively sounds of an Irish jig Thursday, March 17, 2011, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, one of many styles of music performed during this year'sFred Ingold Music Festival.

The festival, named for the late Fred Ingold, a former principal at Walter Bickett Elementary who died in 1996, is in its 13th year of celebrating andpromoting music to second graders in the school system.

This year's festival was held simultaneously at three Union County Public Schools, Forest Hills, Marvin Ridge and Porter Ridge High Schools. Every second grader in the entire school system was transported to one of the three high schools to enjoy various, music performed predominantly by Union County Public Schools students.

"The festival features musicians from area high school bands and string ensembles," said Jodi McConkey, chairperson of the Union County Elementary Music Teachers. "This wonderful opportunity supports the cultural enhancement of our community and integrates the second-grade science unit on sound."

Porter Ridge High School featured its concert band, while Forest Hills HighSchool featured its symphony band and the Allegro Strings (a Benton HeightsSchool of the Arts string group).

Marvin Ridge High School featured its concert band and Vivace, a student string group affiliated with the Union Symphony.

Two performances were given at each school; the first at 9:30 a.m. and the second at 10:45 a.m. The festival began in 1998, two years after Ingold's death.

Ingold's widow, Joyce Ingold, makes it a point to attend every festival. "I wouldn’t miss this for anything," she said. "When someone chooses to honor someone who is near and dear to you, how could you not support them. And having been a teacher myself, I value the music program and what it offers to students. I appreciate so much the dedication of the teachers andadministrators who allow this to happen."

Fred Ingold was principal at Walter Bickett Elementary for about 11 years. "He enjoyed music, every kind of music," Joyce Ingold said. "He supported the arts programs and classes as well. He was very interested in all kinds of music. He would be amazed and very proud of these festivals."


Written by: Deb Bledsoe
Posted: Mar 29, 2011 by Syble Isbister

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