RAHWAY—Rahway Middle School’s 18th annual Black History Month assembly was a highly energetic compilation of musical traditions to attribute to African-American civil rights pioneers, singers and inventors.
The Black History Month program was originated in 1993 by Shirley Palmer and current assistant superintendent, Edward Yergalonis. Today, this celebration of African-Americans is organized under the direction of Darren Spaulding, a sixth grade mathematics teacher, with assistance from Stephanie Volino, a sixth grade reading teacher and dance team choreographer, and Amara VanWyk, the middle school’s band director.
“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”, the African-American national anthem by James Weldon Johnson was among several spiritual songs that rang out in praise led by Spaulding, various middle school students, and special featured guests, Caroline DeFreitas, an eighth grade mathematics teacher, and April Ashe, a Rahway Middle School parent.
This exemplary musical mode continued with a snappy, toe tapping performance of “Minnie the Moocher” by the school’s Jazz Band. The Rahway High School Steppers, coached by Cleopatra Jones and Valerie Blanchard, kept the upbeat spirit going. Finally, for the grand finale, a hand-clapping, dancing-in-your-seat Michael Jackson tribute choreographed by Volino was performed by the Rahway Middle School Dance Team.
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