Notre Dame Prep musicians find eager audience at Ridge Ruxton

Special education school enjoys concert, lecture

April 16, 2002|By Linda Linley | Linda Linley,SUN STAFF

The 30 members of the concert band and string ensemble from Notre Dame Preparatory School had an appreciative audience yesterday when they performed at the Ridge Ruxton School in Baltimore County.

The entire student body of Ridge Ruxton, a county school with 160 students ages 3 to 21 who have intensive special education needs, turned out for the concert in the gym.

"When we invited the Notre Dame Prep band to come, we thought it would be a little different for our pupils to interact with nondisabled students," said Ed Bennett, principal at Ridge Ruxton.

In addition to the concert, the girls from Notre Dame Prep, a Roman Catholic school in Towson with 695 pupils in grades six through 12, played different instruments as band instructor Alex Dzbinski and strings instructor Carole Murai explained the sounds emanating from each section of the orchestra: the woodwinds, brass, percussion and strings.

Kindel Ingham, 17, a senior at Notre Dame, said that the "enthusiasm of these children is great."

"I really enjoyed the performance, and I hope the band gives another performance here," said Ingham, a violinist, who has been playing since she was 4.

Ingham said the string ensemble had performed at malls and assisted-living facilities for the elderly but had never played at a school for the disabled.

"We had no idea what to expect, but it was cool to see the younger children get excited about the music," she said.

Notre Dame senior Katie O'Hara, 18, captured the attention of Ridge Ruxton pupil Brianna Perholtz, 14, who promptly said her favorite instrument was the guitar. But Perholtz added that she had liked the music that came from O'Hara's French horn and wanted the musicians to come back.

"My kids loved it," said Monica O'Grady, Ridge Ruxton middle school teacher. "I'd like it to become a regular visit."

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