[Editor's Note: This story first ran Dec. 23, 2011.]
The music and traditions of Hanukkah and Judaism came alive at the EG elementary schools this past week, with a visit by Michael Fischel Bresler, a musician and storyteller.
Bresler played guitar, clarinet, a ram’s horn (i.e. a shofar), a tamborine and harmonica - at one point three instruments at once! - for the four and fifth grade students at Eldredge School Thursday. By the end of Thursday, he’d performed at all four elementary schools.
There were, of course, differences in his performances.
“Obviously they respond on a different level,” Bresler said of the students at Meadowbrook and Frenchtown. “You couldn’t do as much conceptual stuff and a little more time is spent on crowd control. You know, helping them understand how to calm down when they get excited. But that’s fine. That’s part of what the performance is for.”
For the Hanaford and Eldredge students, though, it’s a little freer.
“Now with these older children, it’s like surfing,” he said. “It’s like riding a wave, because they’re so great. They want to understand the world and how things work. It’s tremendous.”
Bresler was brought to East Greenwich to perform courtesy of the EG Cultural Organization of the Arts (COA).