Third grade students at Sulphur Springs Community School traveled through time as they detailed the history of the Santa Clarita Valley through speeches, songs and dance.
The school’s Thursday performance of “Santa Clarita: The Musical” included Jeanine Michel’s, Gina Woolner’s, Jenna Baker’s and Natalie Badalof’s (Katie Petrick’s) third grade classes who described the valley from the time of the Tataviam Native Americans to the city’s current growth and development.
“It’s a great way to teach history through song,” Michel said. “It’s also a great way to study the history of our valley and what makes us unique. It also prepares them for fourth grade and learning about the Gold Rush.”
Third graders at the elementary school have been performing the musical on and off for years, but this year the teachers modernized it with songs from artists like Fitz and the Tantrums, American Authors and Justin Timberlake.
This year, students began learning about the history of the valley at the beginning of the spring semester and spent the last month memorizing songs, learning dances and preparing for the performance.
In total, the students performed 10 songs and acted out seven scenes that took the audience through the changing scenery and inhabitants of the valley.
One character, Senor Reynaldo, led the students through each time period using his history book, “History Comes Alive.”
Dressed as the Tataviam Native Americans, Spanish and Mexican explorers, early settlers, railroad workers, oil drillers, cowboys and movie stars, students shared how people found the valley and used its resources.
Special characters like Gaspar De Portola, Father Junipero Serra, Henry Clay Wiley, Henry Mayo Newhall, Tiburcio Vasquez, William S. Hart and Gene Autry also made special appearances during the performance.
Michel said the students’ favorite parts of the performance included the dance from the “Tataviam Tune” piece and the song “Cowboys and Western Movies” where students described the movie industry.
“But they love it all,” she said.
The performance finished with the third grade students dancing to the front of the stage and out of the school’s Multipurpose Room as parents and families clapped along with the music and cheered on the children.
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_