Windsor High School band pays tribute to Sandy Hook victims
By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Mon., Dec. 30, 2013
The Windsor High School Jazz Quartet commemorated the anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown by bringing their instruments to Bradley International Airport on Dec. 16 and playing upbeat holiday music for travelers. The quartet’s members - saxophonist David Jardim, 17; guitarist Ryan Munasinghe, 15; bassist Ryan Crisanti, 15; and drummer Ben Mueller, 17 - and director Steven Ortiz dedicated their performance to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.
Windsor High School continued to acknowledge Sandy Hook in its annual winter concert, held on Dec. 19.
“As part of the 26 Days of Kindness, we felt that honoring all involved in Sandy Hook through music was the right thing to do,” said Ortiz. “A lot of people appreciated the fact that we handed out ribbons and dedicated our performance to the memory of the victims.”
“Last year, our concert took place on Dec. 14,” said Ortiz. “We came very close to canceling the concert due to the fact that everyone was in shock; we didn’t feel it was right to ‘celebrate’ the holidays with music on that day,” he said. “But after speaking to our principal, we decided that the best thing to do was show the members of our community that we stood strong and did something positive for the students of Sandy Hook.”
The incident was especially difficult for Ortiz because he had spent some of his own teaching internship at Sandy Hook Elementary.
This year, Ortiz felt a need to do “something special for Sandy Hook,” so the band chose to play a piece entitled “A Child is Born,” by Thad Jones. “[The piece reminds] us of the joy children bring to our world with their innocence and purity that only children possess,” said Ortiz.
During the concert, Brandon Monroe, 16, played a solo on his trumpet and dedicated it to fellow musician and former Windsor resident Jimmy Greene. Greene’s daughter, Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, was one of the children killed in the attack at Sandy Hook.
The solo and song were met with applause from the audience.
Green ribbons were handed out to everyone who attended the concert.