There was some rockin'-n-rolling, a little moving and grooving and a whole lot of heart and soul pouring out of Tremont Elementary School students and staff last week as they celebrated the end of the school year with an annual tradition.
On the last full day of classes at Tremont on Thursday, May 25, the school gymnasium turned into a concert hall for a send-off -- or rather, a sing-off.
Tremont students, staff and parents crowded in for the final 90 minutes of the school day, and what followed was a showcase of school spirit and musical talent.
"This might be one of our most exciting days of the year," Principal Jim Buffer announced at the outset.
"We have so much talent in the building. So today we're going to show why we love the arts and why the arts and music are such a big part of what we do."
The third annual Tremontpalooza, as the event is known, originally started when Summer McPherson -- now completing her fifth-grade year -- was a third-grader at the school and she helped celebrate the end of classes by playing piano and singing for fellow students and staff.
Last year, the event was expanded to include other students and musically inclined staff members.
"The basic premise is a celebratory performance where students can sing with a live band made up of staff members from the school, along with student instrumentalists and Tremont's music groups," Tremont music teacher Tino Benedetti said.
Thanks to a $1,000 grant from the Upper Arlington Education Foundation, the event also was bolstered this year by a new drum set and sound system for Tremont's music program.
Joanie Dugger, education foundation director, said Benedetti and the school's intervention specialist, Bobby Huffman, asked the organization for help obtaining the new equipment.
"We were happy to help with these important pieces of Tremontpalooza," she said.
Throughout the concert, students in first through fifth grades took turns singing and playing instruments. Their repertoire ranged from the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army," to a Beatles medley and odes to retiring staff members and a teacher expecting a baby soon.
Various students played piano solos, the school Guitar Club accompanied several songs and the fifth-grade strings class played the Ohio State standard, "Hang On Sloopy."
Third-grade girls and boys sang together on "Party In the UA," a variation of Miley Cyrus' "Party In the USA," and several students showed off their chops on ukulele, violin and cello.
To wrap it up, McPherson excitedly took the microphone while many staff members wore tour-style "Summerpalooza" T-shirts in tribute to her that featured her picture.
"I'm really excited to sing," McPherson started her performance by saying.
"To all those Lady Gaga fans out there, sing along if you know this one. It's called 'Million Reasons.' "
McPherson's showmanship took off from there as she also sang The Chainsmokers' "Paris," as well as Alessia Cara's "Scars to Your Beautiful," which she sang and played on piano.
It was a proper conclusion to another school year while also helping to connect classroom learning to real-life experiences and applications, Benedetti said.
His thoughts seemed supported by the waving arms, clapping hands, foot stomping and singing from the audience throughout the concert.
"The purpose of the show is for students to share their love of music and performance with the rest of the school and celebrate the year ending," Benedetti said.
"Though some performances are individual or small-group efforts, others involve entire classes, performing songs they've prepared in class.
"It's an extension of the work we do every day in music class."