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Perri Morris leads the students of The North Bennington Strings in a concert celebrating the program's 25th anniversary.

NORTH BENNINGTON >> The Strings Program at the Village School of North Bennington celebrated its 25 years of service to the community on Wednesday with a concert from all the current students.

Twenty-five student violinists and 20 student cellists performed a selection of songs, under the direction of Perri Morris. The full band performed "Hot Cross Buns," "Ten Little Indians," "Flower Song," "Do Your Ears Hang Low?" and a short selection from the music of "Star Wars." Then, the more advanced students played "Allegro" from the Suzuki Violin Book, a Mozart March, "Rondo Rizzicato," and "Hunter's Chorus," also by Suzuki.

Morris, the current director of the program, welcomed everyone to the celebration, saying, "We wanted to play for you, because every great party has great music!"

The string program was founded in 1991 by Cathy and Joseph Schor, an accomplished string duo who had recently moved to North Bennington from New York City. They had a daughter in the first grade at what was then the North Bennington Graded School, and decided that it would be fun to play for her classroom. When one of their daughter's classmates, Theresa Mayer, repeatedly told Cathy Schor that she wanted to play the violin after seeing them, the seeds that would eventually grow into the school's strings program were planted. The program is one of only two elementary school strings programs in Vermont.


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Cathy Schor was invited back to be recognized at the event, and was presented with a gift from Morris and flowers from Village School principal Tom Martin. "It's not just great ideas that make things like this possible," said Morris, "It takes courage." She then took a moment to name and recognize all of the instructors who had made the program possible throughout the years. Alumni of the program gave short speeches as well.

"How do you find the words," said Martin, "to say thank you to people who have made such a difference?"

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.