FARMINGTON -- Many students at Knowlton Elementary School love listening to the radio as well as learning about singers and performers from the past.
On Thursday, they showed their love of radio with their original performance "On the Radio!"
Music brings back memories for those old enough to recall them. Great-grandma will remember listening to classics such as "Alexander's Ragtime Band," and some will remember "Ain't We Got Fun."
Many parents and grandparents were taken back to the days of Elvis and the Beatles with "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," but the best part for the actors was getting to know some of the past performers.
"I like the wig mostly. I looked awesome in it, and it was fun on stage," said Cesar Calvillo, who played the part of Paul McCartney of the Beatles.
Cesar said his mom's favorite song is one the Beatles sang, and "'Here Comes the Sun' is my favorite song," he said. "I just love the Beatles."
His friend Jonah McFarland took the part of Ringo, which he also loved. Each of the actors and singers tried out for the parts.
"I tried out for the Beatles, and they gave me Ringo," Jonah said. "I love to listen to music. I like rock."
None of the students looked nervous as they sang and danced, but Cesar said, "When I got nervous I would look at my friends on the risers.
"I just love the Beatles. I like radio because you can be in your room just listening to the radio and nobody is there to judge you. I like alternative rock," he said.
Nearly 100 sixth-grade students took to the stage during the event, which was a look at music and dance. "KYDZ Radio" broadcast the event, beginning with music from the 1920s and 1930s. It was a time when banks closed and people lost their jobs, so what did they do? They turned on the radio
For the 1940s they sang "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," and did swing dancing. From the 1950s they learned about car hops and that the first McDonald's opened during that decade and, of course, Elvis Presley. Then came the poodle skirts and rock and roll music in the 1960s. Tyler Wood played Elvis, complete with his white jumpsuit.
By the 1970s, performers wanted to help people all over the world, and in 1976 they sang, "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing," followed by the songs of the 1980s, with "Thriller" by Michael Jackson.
Dressed in a red jacket and a sparkling white glove on his right hand, Shantz Hansen danced much like the King of Pop.
"I like to dance, and I like music too," said Shantz. "I listen to the radio every day because I love music."
Many of the young performers learned more about radio, but they each learned something different too.
"I learned how to perform," said Kaitlyn Curtis, and her friend Camri Hill said, "I learned what radio is and the history of radio, and I had lots of fun doing it."
"I learned about Michael Jackson," said Ashley Hammond.
And Hallie Pectol said she learned what radio was for: "It is a thing to listen to while doing homework."
Hannah Christoffersen said she not only learned a new way to have fun, she learned to know music.
While the young audience may not recognize the old tunes, they certainly can relate to the music of today.
"This shows the importance of music and radio. There is still radio, and it is an important part of life," said sixth-grade teacher Kirstin Reed.
Dance and music specialists at the school helped with the choreography and singing.
"Every student has a valuable part," said Reed. "Music is part of social studies. This is a different way to learn."
The program received funding through the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program, said music specialist Martha Avant.
Teachers are able to teach the core curriculum, including social studies, singing technique and harmony in music, drama, movement and dancing, Avant said, adding, "It was a team effort."
Other sixth-grade teachers are Sonya Nelson and Kim Phillips.
The show was staged once during the day and again in the evening for parents.
Listen to the music of the past:
I've Got a Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
On the Radio
Alexander's Ragtime Band
Ain't We Got Fun
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing
We Are the World
I've Got a Feeling - Black Eyed Peas