Charlene L. Brown


2011 in Review


January 28

Had the marvelous opportunity to do a community sing with Alice Parker at 1st Plymouth Church.  This 86 year-old woman had all the joy and zest for music as a 6 year-old!  Without ever using an instrument we were able
to create glorious sounds with improvised multi-layers and in many styles singing these songs:  Let Us Break Bread Together, Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee, Shenandoah, Water Come-a Me Eye, and Gimme Yo’ Hand.  She also directed the Abenmusik Chorus and possibly woke some of them up to the wonders of the music they were singing.  Kind of reminded me of what the director in the movie “As it is in Heaven” did with his little church choir.
In January I saw La Fanciulla Del West (a live Met Opera feed), Joshua Bell, Alice Parker, and the St. Olaf Choir!

February brought out some bookworms from our Music Club.  See album above.

Chandler View’s Ecology Club had a Full Moon Party on Feb 18th.  the Full Moon party was not dampened by the cloud cover over the full moon, because the students got to see Jupiter and its four moons, the star cluster in Orion, and another star named M35 from 2 thousand dollar telescopes.  We did an activity where the students placed dots on paper from a roll of adding machine tape to symbolize the spacing of the planets.  They also saw a very good powerpoint pres
entation about the moon and got to ask all sorts of questions.  The bus ride there was an adventure in itself as the unpaved roads were a little soft and we had to back the bus up as the driver took a wrong turn.  Before we left, we worked on a CVTV commercial about recycling, made posters for our P/T Confs booth, and did a scavenger hunt which Karla, the other sponsor, used to prep the kids for looking at the night sky.  We had 30 people ride the bus, as family members came along.  A very good night of fun and learning!



Our church performed From Darkness to Light and Mozart’s Requiem.  You can really tell which movements of the requiem Mozart wrote!  They also performed the St. John Passion at a later date.  I was in the audience for both!


In March, I got to see and hear Emily Mae in Crete HS’s The Sound of Music (she’s on the left) and then I heard her play in the conference honor band held in Seward.  I realize this is a marching band picture - Emily’s on the right!

I was able to get reduced-price tickets for Beethoven’s Ninth performed by the Omaha Symphony Orchestra.  What an outstanding piece of music!

All City was held on February 5.  There are honor bands, orchestras, and choirs from all levels of the Omaha Public Schools.  Chandler View had a dozen or so singers in the elementary choir held at the Civic Auditorium.

What a delightful show Mary Poppins is - so much so, I  wrote a unit for the 2nd and 3rd graders to do during Camp Cougar.  They really liked their walking canes for Jolly Holiday!

Another broadway musical I saw, and I must say, the monster stole the show!! :)

I was surveyed after my Beethoven symphony attendance and I said there seemed to be lots of mistakes during the performance.  The lady said, well we want you back, so issued me comp tickets to see The Blue Planet - which had BBC film footage during some wonderful music!  A great night for free!

Another mass performance for the Omaha Public Schools is called Area Concerts.  The school district is divided into 6 areas and then all elementary band, chorus, and orchestra students perform together.  I don’t have a picture, but just imagine a very packed gymnasium filled with students, teachers, and parents! :)


Two of my favorite musicals.  All the Mannings went to Les Mis, and I took Emily Mae to Wicked for her birthday present!




Our “camp” was FILLED with many special events!  The 2nd and 3rd graders fell in love with Mary Poppins.  The K/1st graders learned the story of Snow White, while the 4th and 5th graders learned and sang about Nebraska and did the jitterbug!

Camp Cougar... Just the Facts!

Not only were our campers landscapers (we moved two piles of mulch onto our beds!) but we had our first school garden this season too!

When we travel, and travel we do each Wednesday of our 5 weeks, we wear our camp shirts.  I was the Specialist for K/1 this summer and we traveled to the Rose Theater, the Gene Leahey Mall (the kids loved the slides!), the Children’s Museum, Mahoney Park, Wildlife Safari Park, Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, and Lauritzen Botanical Gardens.  The last day of camp, we had field day activities for the students with all sorts of water stations and even some blow up jump houses!  Can you see why I enjoy working at Chandler View?? :)


I ran away for a day to the Lied Lodge in Nebraska City and left a golf ball in this Mahoney water trap! 


My weekend job! :)

I had three piano students play music for residents of the North Gate Garden Estates.  Jenny had 5 lessons with me and is a Sophomore at North Star.  Hailey’s played two years and is a 3rd grader, and Joe’s played one and half years and is a Freshman at North Star.  I was very pleased with the residents afterwards, going up to the students and praising them.  It was a great evening!!





Harriet made these wonderful rice cakes topped with salmon, Jean made Quinoa with beets and I brought a bean salad for a nice little summer luncheon with Polly and even Roberta via the telephone!

Through Leanne’s iPad camera, I went to the Saline County Fair to see all the exhibits Emily Mae had with purple ribbons on them; most of them headed to the State Fair!  Way to go Emily :) 

I took a picnic lunch and then I played my accordion for the residents of the Exeter Care Center and that’s how we celebrated their anniversary!

Everybody, everyday, all the time.
Everybody, everyday, all the time.
Attendance is what makes us cool,
Cougars love to come to school.
Everybody, everyday, all the time.

A music store in town sponsors several guitar circles.  I’ve attended one this summer and have really enjoyed the old-timey music!

Winfield Winners at The Loft.  Man could these guys play!  The man on the left had 2 days previously won the fiddle competition at the Walnut Valley Music Festival and played for us on his prize - - a new violin!

This musical is based on the life of Ted Kooser, Poet Laureate.  Emily and I attended this 2 person cast musical and we both said it was “delightful.”

October 7th was our first Ecology Party for the school year.  We took the students outside into

ditches by the school and collected “cool” things

to make a nature walk bouquet.  The students

kept exclaiming, “This is so fun!”

The apples were plenty out at the winery and the owners said, come pick as many as you’d like.  Yum~yum!!

Jenny and Jeremiah are young friends that give me much more than I give them!  Thanks guys :)

Our Music Club visited the Veteran’s Home located in south Bellevue on November 10th, and then on the 12th we gave the program to our parents and friends at Chandler View.  There are 52 students in music club; grades 3 - 6.  They mingled with the vets afterwards which I thought was the coolest part!!  One little boy saw me in the hallway the next week and said, “Miss Brown!  I can’t wait for music club to start next semester because I want to know where we’re performing!” 

Crete’s football team made it to the finals and got to play in Memorial Stadium, while Emily got captured by the Lincoln Journal Star!

Our Christmas program was entitled A Hollywood Holiday

You can watch the classes perform here.

I took a class at the Henry Doorly Zoo on Antarctica.  A researcher from ANDRILL was there and talked to us about Climate Change.  The class was free and very interesting so I signed up for another one on Tigers! 

Humph!  I think was doing something in August, but I guess doing lesson plans and getting my room in order didn’t bring up any pictures :)

Lincoln Association for Traditional Arts, holds their concerts on the 3rd floor of a warehouse just south of “O” street in the Haymarket area.  These performers are The Greencards and man can they play!  Guitar, mandolin, bass, and violin licks were flying all over the place! 

The last week of school before winter break, the Ecology Club had a recycled-crafts party.  We made shopping bags out of old t-shirts, luminaries from old glass jars, ornaments out of styrofoam plates, and bracelets from pop can tabs.  You can see the students were very engaged and we had a blast!  Even got some Christmas carols sung too :)  Sneaky ol’ music teacher!

Christmas at the Cathedral featured cousin Karen Kness singing Vaughan Williams’ Hodie.  She was delightful!  St. Cecilia’s Cathedral in Omaha is a gem!

My Christmas Cactus

always outdoes itself!

Bet you didn’t know Emily was part of Lewis & Clark’s corp, eh? :)

The ESL teacher and I run Children’s Classics.  Twenty 5th and 6th graders get to come during their lunch to discuss “classics.”  We took them to see A Christmas Carol put on by the Nebraska Repertory Theater.  The tickets were only a dollar a piece for the students, as the NRT must do this as an outreach program to the communities in Omaha.  It was excellent!!

6545 Cascade Drive

Lincoln, NE  68504



And we save the best for last...

I wrote a little jingle for our school to use to urge good attendance.  Here it is!