Kings Kokordoza Marimba Ensemble invited to perform, present at national conference

A group of Kings students is headed to Colorado next month to present and perform at a national music conference.

The Kokorodza Marimba Ensemble, under the direction of Matthew Jenkins, is headed to the American Orff-Schulwerk Association’s national professional development conference in Denver, Nov. 13-16.

It is the first time the group has been asked to present – or perform – at a national conference since the Kings Mills Elementary School music teacher introduced the group nearly nine years ago.

“We’re very excited to make this trip,’’ Jenkins said. “We’re being recognized for embracing different world cultures and because marimbas are similar to the xylophones.”

In the Orff Schulwerk philosophy musicianship is built through singing, playing instruments, speech and movement – similar to what Jenkins does in his classes and with the Marimba group.

Besides presenting and performing at the conference, the group will join other groups at a Boulder cultural center for a jam session.

Those who are going on the trip have played with the ensemble at least one year. A parent or grandparent will accompany each of the students, Jenkins said.

The members of the ensemble come from the intermediate, junior and senior high schools. Students who are traveling to Colorado are:

Will Strassel, Micah Belfrom, Devin Squires, and Corinne Burroughs, sixth grade; Haley Harphant, and Christina Isbell, seventh grade; and Kieran Jenkins, ninth grade

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