Irish musician works with sixth-graders - Catholic Courier

Irish musician works with sixth-graders

Sixth-grade students at Elmira’s Holy Family Intermediate School got a special treat when they were recently joined for a week by a well-known Southern Tier musician.

Pat Kane, an Irish-American singer, dancer, instrumentalist and actor, served as artist-in-residence at Holy Family Intermediate Sept. 13-17. Kane divided approximately 60 students into groups of 10, each of which became a “family” taking on an Irish name such as Sullivan. The groups practiced Irish songs and dances throughout the week, and then presented a Friday-afternoon program for the rest of the student body. Kane provided music and storytelling at the assembly, and the sixth-graders sang and performed a number of Irish dances.

Brenda Lisi, Holy Family Intermediate’s principal, said she was pleased by the sense of community that developed within the small groups. “Students learned that music and dance are forms of communication that have been used in various cultures to pass on history and traditions,” she said.

Kane, who is Catholic, has produced several albums and hosts a weekly radio show as well as monthly ceili dances in Elmira. According to Lisi, Kane appeared at Holy Family Intermediate thanks to a generous donation by a family that wishes to remain anonymous. Lisi said she would consider hosting future artist-in-residence programs if funding resources become available.

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