Kevin O’Grady School students enjoyed a New Year celebration filled with musical performance by students with paraprofessional Bethany Vahn-Phipps who is a professional singer.
Bethany has had a long career as a singer, musical director and voice teacher, appearing in and directing numerous musical comedies, as well as entertaining on cruise ships. Currently, she was seen teaching a to a group of tourists.
Bethany brings her musical talent into the classrooms every week where she teaches a Conga Lesson once a week. She sings and dances with students to lively music, mostly Disney and show tunes chosen by the students. Students who have limited mobility, are wheelchair bound or have limited verbal skills, “come alive” singing with Bethany. Autistic students who shun social interactions sing, dance, skip and jump. And all of them smile.
Students – like 20-year-old A.J. Musto in the photo — brim with joy as Bethany sings to them. They each get their moment “on stage” with the beautiful princess aka Bethany. It is heart warming to witness her energy, hear her soprano voice and watch her gifted performance.
Bethany’s music program will be enhanced by $6,000 worth of new instruments and sound equipment purchased with a generous grant from the Ernie Boch Jr. Music Drives Us Foundation. The Consortium was one of 10 organizations to receive a grant out of 230 that applied.