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Head's Corner December 18, 2017

Dear Summit Families and Friends,

The holiday season, with its excitement and flurry of celebrations, is upon us. With the ongoing observation of Hanukkah, the approach of the winter solstice, and the upcoming celebrations of Christmas, the New Year, and Kwanzaa, we are reminded of the many ways and traditions of bringing people together in the hope and celebration of peace.

As the children here at Summit celebrate traditions and the onset of the winter season, they are joyful, purposeful, engaged. Their smiles, laughter, and happy banter provide a glow that is irresistible.  They giggle with delight at snowflakes, holiday songs, gingerbread houses, and edible treats such as latkes. They share traditions and sing songs of peace and joy.

Dr. Montessori recognized that children emanate the promise of humanity. Their energy, generosity, and hopeful spirits are like candle flames around which we as adults can renew our vision for a promising, abundant, and just world.

We at Summit Montessori wish you great joy, peace, and the abundance of love and family as you celebrate this holiday season.  We hope that you are able to gather together with loved ones in whatever traditions you hold dear to relax and revel in the true spirit of this special time.

What follows is an excerpt from a poem by Dr. Maya Angelou, entitled “Amazing Peace, A Christmas Poem”.  Though the immediate focus of the poem is Christmas, its breadth and meaning are clearly intended to deliver a far more expansive message, one that resonates deeply for all of us at this time. While I have included this poem in past Summit seasonal messages, I deliberately include it again. At this point in time its message resonates in a particularly compelling way.

“We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth's tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.”

Kind regards,
Martha Torrence
Head of School



A Word about “Small Concerts”

As those of you who are returning Summit parents may realize, over the past two years I have created a tradition of creating “small concerts” featuring Summit student musicians at occasional Friday Morning Meetings. These concerts began quite spontaneously a couple of years ago when one of the Upper El students, who was aware that I am a beginning cellist, asked when I would play for the school. My response was to organize a concert comprised of a few students who had prepared pieces for their respective recitals, and who I thought might like to have the experience of sharing these pieces with a new audience.

We have had several very successful “small concerts” since then, all well received and all providing our student musicians with additional opportunity to practice the art of public performance. This Friday, December 16, our last day prior to the holiday break, we are planning a short performance which will include a couple of student musicians sharing their recital pieces, and an Upper El group sharing recorder pieces from their work in music class this year.

Moving forward I would like to provide as many Summit student musicians with the opportunity to perform here as possible. While I am aware of many students who are taking instrument lessons, I am not aware of all.  If your son or daughter is studying an instrument and would like to be included in a future “small concert”, please do let me know. No need to coax or cajole; children often need a warm-up period in order to be ready to perform in a new setting. Just let me know (or your child can let me know) if s/he is interested, and I will plug him/her into a performance date.

Thanks very much!

Yours in music appreciation,