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Marimba players give Bridgehampton a special rhythm

Kidsday reporters Scott Vinski, left, Chase Gudelauski and

Kidsday reporters Scott Vinski, left, Chase Gudelauski and Luna Paucar playing the marimba. Photo Credit: Jennifer Vinski

Bridgehampton School is one of the few schools with a marimba band. A marimba is a xylophone-like instrument that originated in Africa.

There are different types of marimbas. Some have sharps and flats, and some don’t. Here at our school, we use the ones without the sharps and flats. Marimbas have a very cool, unique sound. Some songs sound like water dripping.

Our band has 15 students, led by music teacher and conductor Dave Elliott. Students in grades 10 through 12 meet to practice for performances at local spots such as the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, and LongHouse Reserve and Guild Hall in East Hampton. They have also performed in Albany at the FIRST Robotics Competition and at Hofstra University.

Some of the songs that Mr. Elliott chooses are challenging. For example, the marimba band recently learned the theme song from “Star Wars,” which was loved and enjoyed by many. One of the amazing things about this group is they are almost always learning new songs. When students are in rehearsals they don’t see practicing as work or something stressful. The audience is always cheerful when the music starts playing because a lot of marimba music is upbeat and happy.

Marie Hand and Thomas House’s sixth- and seventh-grade students, Bridgehampton School

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