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Choral Group Brings Music To Miami Elementary Schools

John O'Connor
Students at Natural Bridge Elementary School sing "Amazing Grace" with members of Seraphic Fire.

Students at two Miami elementary schools got a lesson in singing together from choral group Seraphic Fire Friday.

The group is based in Miami but performs all over the country. It is providing music classes in local schools this year.

Most students at North Miami’s Natural Bridge Elementary had never sung an Israeli folk song before. Some are just learning English.

But Seraphic Fire singer James Bass had more than 100 students belting out the words to “Zum Gali Gali.”

They’re not hard – it’s just “zum gali gali, zum gali gali” repeated four times. But Bass broke the students up into three groups, letting them take turns.

Each group of students sang louder and louder. They slapped their thighs and clapped in rhythm.

Seraphic Fire members added  counterpoint. Finally, all three groups sang together, nearly yelling the words.

Seraphic Fire alto Luthien Brackett said getting students to sing out is easy.

“Because you’re not put on the spot,” she said, “you don’t have to be the one everyone’s listening to. You can just be part of a group and so you can be a little bit safe, but you’re immediately engaged.”

Natural Bridge elementary students will attend a Seraphic Fire concert in December.

And the group plans to bring another lesson at the school after New Year’s Day.

The group also visited Greynolds Park Elementary School in North Miami Beach.

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