The Oneida Family YMCA debuted a new music component to the traditional Gym & Swim Program for homeschool students this year. With 60 participants in the program, they celebrated the holidays by presenting their first ever Christmas Concert. Led by Music Teachers, Alicia Ames and Mavaret Umstead, the students worked hard to present their first-ever Christmas Concert.

The families and members gathered at the Oneida Y to hear music the students have been working on for months. In addition, they performed with African Drums, rhythm with cups and featured a flute duet with 12 year old Eva Stone and her teacher Alicia Ames.

For the finale, the students were joined by critically acclaimed and Grammy Award winning Native American Musician, Joanne Shenandoah. The students had an opportunity to learn about Joanne and her music, perform with her and learn about her love of music. Joanne also took an opportunity to perform her original song Mother Earth.

The Gym, Swim & Music Program is offered throughout the school year for homeschool children on Thursdays and features swim lessons, physical fitness class and music all in one visit to the Y.

This program allows participants opportunities to spend time with friends, engage in healthy activities and gives parents connections in the homeschool community.

By martha

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