Hispanic Heritage Month celebrated through music at Hillside

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Hillside Grade School’s fifth grade class learned about conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Photos courtesy of the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park Union Free School District

Hillside Grade School’s in-class and remote fourth and fifth-grade students have been honoring Hispanic Heritage Month by learning about famous composers and conductors, as well as musical instruments.

Music teacher Mary Eileen McNamee has been remotely teaching her fourth-graders about Mexican music. The students watched an interview with composer, arranger and music educator Julio Morales. Maestro Morales is from Tampico, a city located in Tamaulipas, Mexico. They learned that Morales’ compositions are inspired by Mexican folk music, jazz and classical styles.

Additionally, the students were introduced to musical instruments, styles and traditions from Tamaulipas and Veracruz, Mexico.

Fifth graders have been working with McNamee on a unit about Gustavo Dudamel, a native of Venezuela, who is the conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Dudamel is famous for getting his start in music as a student in El Sistema, a well-known music education program for the children of Venezuela.

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