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Westhampton students to celebrate folk music

— Westhampton Elementary School students will pay tribute to folk music at a combination art and music show tonight.

The free show, called “A Night of Song with Woody, family and friends,” was inspired by folk greats like Woody and Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger, said music teacher Beth Besser, who collaborated on the event with art teacher Natalie Dias.

Besser said she was inspired to put on the folk show after attending a concert where Arlo Guthrie performed last summer. “I just said, ‘Wow, these kids should know who these people are,’ ” she recalled.

Students’ preparation for the show included more than just learning the songs. “They learned a lot about the history of folk music, about the dust bowl and the Great Depression,” Besser said.

Dias liked the idea of integrating folk music into her art curriculum, and her students created work inspired by the genre, including trains, a log cabin and other backdrops that will be on stage behind the singing students.

The art show will begin at 6 p.m. and the music program begins at 7 p.m. at the school at 37 Kings Highway.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.

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