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Belleville School 10 Students Belt Out Hits From the Past

Spring concert showcases songs from the 1950s.

Students turned back time to more than half a century ago, to relive the rockin' hits of the 1950s for School Number 10's spring music program.

Conducted by music teacher Lisa Novak, kids from the kindergarten to the sixth grade took turns onstage to belt out songs by Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers and Bobby Darin, among others.

They performed Jailhouse Rock, Great Balls of Fire and Johnny B. Goode, which inspired the students to get up and dance. Still, the most lauded performance was that of the first graders and kindergartens, who sang Splish, Splash in bathrobes and Lollipop with oversized lollipop props.

 Novak said they've been preparing for the concert since the start of the year.

"I researched the '50s music, looked for lyrics that would work best for the children and music that would lend itself for a concert in the elementary school," she said.

"The parents and teachers were great in providing costumes for the children," added Novak. "Everybody pitched in, it's great!"

A musician and a singer herself, Novak has been teaching in the Belleville public schools for six years, currently at Schools 10 and 8.

For the concert, she enlisted the services of her church band, who provided musical accompaniment to the songs and lent the right amount of "rock & roll" to the performances.

The band was composed of pianist Stella Crispo, bass guitarist Rich Haddad, lead guitarist Rolando Ruiz and Percussionist Dennis Ametrano.

At the end of the presentation, school principal  Susan Rovell, and a couple of students presented Novak with a bouquet of flowers.

"I want the students to be exposed to all the different kinds of music," Novak added.

"They only want to do rap music. I said you listen to rap everyday. I want you to learn things you don't hear everyday," she said. "So when we did the Beatles concert and this (1950s concert), they loved it."

Novak concluded,"We try to make it as fun for them as possible, so they have a positive experience with music, and take it with them wherever they go."

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