CCUSD Essay Winner to Conduct at Music Festival – Feb. 17

7Ke77e3QJQXNUmcKoLsuRsHuJheJHxRKUR-SR4zyA07DQYFTXAXYUscO4P0dNEB5_2lCS1jb1tpICIXEQldCalZE8knnwmPP3FQScfwS7VFP_xTmUVGCq4v6ciGNINrNzpvUMJxaGt_Q4kBxOfrceIt98-d78kBOfkmB5-o97-DsmeCcPDtX-w_oA6NWTgwhKf_4Cln373aX6zD8KhlSEIt’s a gifted student who can wield a pen with as much grace as a conductor’s baton, and Malaika Stambler is just that gifted. The winning essay is by an eighth grade clarinetist with the CCMS Symphonic Winds, and she will be conducting “Stars and Stripes Forever” as part of the District Music Festival on Thursday, Feb. 19 at the Robert Frost Auditorium at 7 pm. Admission is free, and both the high school and middle school musicians and chorus will be included in the program. For more info go to


Running. Running to my bedroom. My bare feet hit the hardwood floor. I hear the floor creaking beneath my footsteps. I hear the “bang!” echo throughout the hallway every time I move forward. It’s been a long day, a long, sad, day, a long, sad song. A slow blues song kid of day. A minor scale kind of day. The tears are streaming down my cheeks, in small rivers, flowing until they gently hit the floor with a soft, “splash!”

I hear a flute playing in the distance, a gentle tune, lightening up my spirits, as the teardrops hit the floor, one by one, until all that’s left is the vague memory. I hear a flute ensemble now, all playing beautiful harmonies, swirling around me, entering my ears. My running pace slows to a walk, as I realize there is something good in everything.

I reach my room, turn the doorknob. It is an oasis of light, bright sounds and feelings, so different from the world outside. The headphones go in my ears, the pure sound bursting from them. I feel a smile spreading across my face. And all of the sudden, an orchestra is being born in my room; all of the instruments come to life. They spontaneously begin playing tunes in harmony, carefree, fearlessly. The clarinet, the flute, the trumpet, the saxophone, the violin, the cello, the guitar. Even the piano start to play along, the keys going down, and up, adding the perfect touch to the superb piece. All I can feel is happiness. Away goes the me that was running down the cold, dark hallway, in tears. In comes the me, exploding with joy, as I hum along to the heartwarming music filling my ears.

Music can take the worst day ever, and turn it completely upside down. My whole life has been full of music, and it seems that every day, no matter what I’m doing, some song or another is playing inside of me. There are so many different types of music that make me feel so many different types of things. There are sad songs, happy songs, and everything in between. Some of the best times of my life have happened while music was playing, and all of this brings me to realize how thankful I am for it. Without music, life would be grey, colorless, emotionless. I am so fortunate to have such a colorful, brilliant, melodious life.

Thank you to music for bringing me up when I’m down, for taking me to so many wonderful places, and for helping me through all of the issues that life has given me to face.

Photo credit – Tony Spano


The Actors' Gang

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