The Lima Symphony Orchestra recently completed a project almost two years in the making – Project Noteworthy. This educational project, which stemmed from a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts awarded to the orchestra in 2020, culminated in performances of original songs written and performed by Lima City School students and accompanied by the Lima Symphony Orchestra. The songs, written by the students themselves, were inspired by feelings of isolation and loneliness brought on by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns and remote learning.
After months of planning, Project Noteworthy launched in early 2021. This unique project gave students in four elementary and middle school classes in the Lima City School district a creative outlet to process the anxiety and isolation they experienced amidst the upheaval caused by COVID-19. Participating classes include Ms. Rohrbaugh’s 4th grade class from Independence Elementary, Mrs. Miller’s 4th grade class from Heritage Elementary, Mrs. Place’s 4th grade class from Freedom Elementary, and Mr. MacBenn’s 5th grade class from North Middle School. Working with professional songwriter and children’s book author Mary Amato, students gave voice to both their fears and their resiliency, creating original songs. The songs were then arranged for orchestra by composer Jonathan Wey, and performed by Lima Symphony Orchestra musicians under the direction of Music Director Andrew Crust. Ultimately, close to 70 students participated in this amazing and inspirational project.
“I am so excited by the outcome this project,” commented Renee Keller, Marketing and Educational Coordinator with the Symphony. “Last year was really difficult for everybody, but especially for students. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for students to miss out on almost an entire year of in-person learning. With the funding we were awarded from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Symphony really wanted to find a way to help students use music as a way to heal from that experience. I think this project really shows how powerful a tool music can be in terms of bringing people together and helping them move forward.”
Funding from the National Endowment for the Arts was matched by a generous contingent of local sponsors, including: Dominion Energy, Lima Pathology, Rudolph Foods, AR-Hale Family Foundation, Range Kleen, Altria, Lima Pallet, Mid-American Cleaning Contractors, Sign Source USA, Inc., and Mercy Health/St. Rita’s.
A complete summary of the project and performances by the participating classes are available for viewing through the Lima Symphony Orchestra website (https://www.limasymphony.com/project-noteworthy) and YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj7smZVocCn1D6qfHQqqvyQ), or by following the video links are listed below:
Project Noteworthy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-WNdazlTDc
“Deep in My Emotions” – Crystal Miller’s 4th Grade Heritage Elementary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZU2BQIOrgA
“Everything is Right” – Nicole Rohrbaugh’s 4th Grade Independence Elementary:
“Gray Day” – Joe MacBenn’s 5th Grade North Middle School: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ1FQ_0eQhs
“Trying to Find the Light” – Kara Place’s 4th Grade Freedom Elementary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GY7GOwgYYeE
Ms. Mary Amato – Songwriting Coach
Mrs. Renee Keller – Marketing and Education Coordinator, Lima Symphony Orchestra
Mrs. Kristin Lee – Director of Arts and Magnet Program, Lima City Schools
Mr. Jonathan Wey – Music Arranger
Modo Media, LLC
Conductor: Andrew Crust
Violin 1: Michael Houff
Violin 2: Matthew Latawiec
Viola: Carmen Granger
Cello: Shelbi Wagner
Flute: Lindsay Baker
Oboe: Terri Rivetti
Clarinet: Hila Zamir
Trombone: Dale Laukhuf
Horn: Greg Hillis
Drums: Sarah Waters
Ms. Nicole Rohrbaugh
Mrs. Crystal Miller – Music Teacher, Heritage Elementary School
Miss Katelyn Shepherd – Student Teacher, Ohio Northern University
Mrs. Samantha Tippie – 4th Grade Teacher, Heritage Elementary
North Middle School:
Mr. Joe MacBenn
Freedom Elementary School:
Mrs. Kara Place
National Endowment for the Arts
AR-Hale Family Foundation
Mid-American Cleaning Contractors
Sign Source USA, Inc.
Mercy Health/St. Rita’s
The Lima Symphony Orchestra is dedicated to preserving musical excellence as a living part of our community. Serving communities throughout West Central Ohio, the Lima Symphony annually presents five subscription concerts, a family concert, Mozart by Candlelight concerts and an annual New Year’s Eve Pops concert.