San Gabriel Unified School District

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Roosevelt Elementary's Fourth Annual Unity Fest Celebrates Music, Community

Roosevelt Elementary transformed the San Gabriel Library into a music festival on April 27 with dance routines to “Footloose” and “Thriller,” a raucous Mariachi performance of “La Bamba” and a rock band rendition of “Earth Angel” during the fourth annual Music Immersion Experience (MIE) Unity Fest.

Unity Fest was created by MIE coordinator Samantha Theisen and staff as a way to highlight the impact of music to the community and showcase MIE elective courses, which include handbell choir, ukulele, Orff percussion, camerata, drumline, Mariachi band and folkloric dance.

“Our students work hard every day to become better musicians, and we are always looking for opportunities to showcase their talent and dedication,” Theisen said. “Each chance they have to share their joy for the music with the world presents new and exciting possibilities.”

Formed in 2015, the MIE program enhances overall student learning and achievement through music education. All students receive fundamental music lessons daily, and second- through fifth-grade students can also sign up for three additional elective courses that meet one to three times a week.

“This is my son’s first year in MIE and I have seen him become more positive and more confident because of it,” said Sandra Ruiz Htun of her fourth-grader Lukas Htun. “This program has helped him be engaged at school and at home too.”

MIE is part of a Districtwide effort to foster creativity, boost engagement and provide context to learning, made possible through an award-winning TK-12 pipeline of music instruction