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Diversity concert tribute to Simsbury HS faculty member | FOX61 Student News

This year, the performance is a bit different to honor the passing of Simsbury faculty member Miss Banks, the founder of the Gospel Choir.

SIMSBURY, Conn. — Story by Nathan Cournoyer, Kiara Polidura, Simsbury High School

Here at Simsbury high school, music, and diversity fills the air. Students are participating in the Spring Choral Concert to celebrate music from around the world and show odd the skills they learned over the school year.

"As a music teacher, I need to teach my students about all music. I always try to make sure I'm picking music from all over the world all different backgrounds all different races all different genders of composers so that the kids can be exposed to lots of different things," said SHS Music teacher Rebecca Saltzman. 

This year, however, the performance is a bit different to honor the passing of Simsbury faculty member Miss Banks, the founder of the Gospel Choir. 

"It was really really special because the students were showing the powerful part of being an artist. Taking all of those important skills of how to sing well or dance well or act or play well but putting them to use for the higher good, and that is bringing healing to the hearts of Miss Banks' family," said Simsbury Director of Performing Arts & Music, Angela Griffin. 

"I think this had a very different kind of energy compared to any other concert. I think there is a healing moment for a lot of people, and I think it touched a lot of people last night,"  said Simsbury High School student Josie Kodak. 

The event was paused to honor Miss Banks, announcing a name change for the gospel choir and a new Grant in her name. 

"I think renaming the choir in her honor was a really wonderful idea because Gospel Choir was one of her favorite hobbies, and I think that the scholarship really embodies what Miss Banks wanted for her students as well as other students," Simsbury High School student, Paris Albrecht. 

"The message that she really conveyed to students was regardless of your address, regardless of your skin color, your potential is limitless," said SHS English teacher, Michelle Henry. 

The students put on a great show, and Gertrude Banks forever be remembered within the community.

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