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As a teacher with 29 years of experience, Mary Ruth McGinn has always sought innovative ways to meet the needs of each of her students. She has spent her entire career in schools where a majority of students speak English as a second language and where poverty significantly impacts the... Read more

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Perfection, In Hands and Voices (VIDEO)

Harness the Stars Kids Opera Company experienced a musical awakening. Pianist, Henry Dehlinger, opera singer, Danielle Talamantes and US Army Chorus member, Kerry Wilkerson opened our ears, eyes and souls to the power of music. Playing and singing songs from the operas, The Magic Flute and Porgy and Bess, they collaborated beautifully to share their craft and expertise as professional artists. Henry’s interpretation of a Spanish composition left us wanting more. When you wish to achieve a goal, you practice, practice, practice to make it happen. This was evident in the performance. Now we take what we have learned from this trio and use it not only to inform all aspects of creating our original opera, but also to empower us to realize our own hopes and dreams through practice and perseverance.

photo of poem written by Rayn

“Henry was an inspiration. He inspired me to practice a lot because his piano playing was mind blowing. My jaw dropped to the fluency of his piano playing.” Sana

“The way Henry played, the way the piano sounded, the way they sang, popped my head with thoughts and thoughts.” Taliyah

“Just hearing the music and seeing Henry play that beautiful piece, put me in a new, wonderful, mysterious place.” K

“Passionate. That is the only word that comes out of my mouth. I loved how the music made this kind of energy, flowing through everyone.” Sonia

“I heard amazing voices!” Claudia

Danielle and Kerry’s duet from Porgy and Bess

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Mary Ruth McGinn

About Mary Ruth McGinn

As a teacher with 29 years of experience, Mary Ruth McGinn has always sought innovative ways to meet the needs of each of her students. She has spent her entire career in schools where a majority of students speak English as a second language and where poverty significantly impacts the learning experiences and opportunities of students and their families.

Sixteen years ago she had an experience that changed her life and altered her professional path in a profound way. She attended training sessions at The Metropolitan Opera Guild in New York City, spent nine intense days living the process of creating an original opera and learned how to replicate the experience with her students. She then began creating opera with her students and using the process of creating the opera as a vehicle through which to teach curriculum and life skills. The authentic purpose for learning coupled with the arts provided the perfect stage on which to construct a love for life-long learning.

She currently teaches at Stedwick Elementary School in Montgomery Village, Maryland where she is creating another original opera with her third grade students.

Read more of Mary Ruth’s blog Learning for Real.

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