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Simply put, noteBUSTERS is an extracurricular vocal performance program consisting of students currently operating in three schools in Washington, D.C.: Janney, Horace Mann, and Lafayette Elementary Schools. Children do not audition or need singing experience to join. Everyone in grades 1 through 5 are welcome. Students in noteBUSTERS enroll, learn songs, and rehearse at their distinct schools, then all the noteBUSTERS join hands to offer two very unique concerts each year. The fall session begins the second week in September and ends with a traditional Thanksgiving Show on the Tuesday evening before Thanksgiving. The spring session begins in April and the final spring performance is held on a Sunday afternoon at the end of May or beginning of June. Each of the noteBUSTERS sessions runs approximately 10 weeks.


That said, noteBUSTERS is so much more than just a singing group.


The mission of noteBUSTERS is to provide, through music, an after-school experience for children to strengthen and nurture their positive self image. The tool is singing. However, it is the nurturing environment and the opportunities to perform that build confidence and encourage the children to assert themselves in a multitude of activities.


Some sessions include a parent/teacher component known as the noteBOOMERS. Parents and teachers come together three or four times during the 10 week session to rehearse music which supports the noteBUSTERS. Their role is to sing parts underneath the children, harmonize, and participate in call-and-answer fashion with the children’s songs. Their presence enhances and supports the performance and does not upstage it. These parents and teachers often have been involved in previous choral programs but because of careers and raising children they may not have had an outlet for musical participation. With this minimal time expectation, they are able to sing and also be a part of a wonderful shared experience with their children. In addition, many noteBUSTERS alumnae who have moved on to middle school continue with the program by performing as noteBUSTED, an ensemble that supports the younger students in much the same way as noteBOOMERS.


NoteBUSTERS musical message of building community is the creation of artistic director, Alex Helsabeck. Alex is recently retired as Sergeant First Class from the United States Army Chorus located Washington, DC. Alex brings in many professional military musicians to enhance, enrich, and support these children in weekly sessions and in the final performance. In uniform, they serve their country as musical ambassadors for peace. In civilian clothing and off duty, they offer children a chance to believe, to grow, and to excel. The energy is electrifying and unforgettable!



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