Newlin leads Bluestone Elementary Bluetones before impending retirement

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Newlin leads Bluestone Elementary Bluetones before impending retirement

Dr. Georgia Newlin leads the Bluestone Elementary choir, known as the BlueTones.

Dr. Georgia Newlin leads the Bluestone Elementary choir, known as the BlueTones.

Grace Miller

Dr. Georgia Newlin leads the Bluestone Elementary choir, known as the BlueTones.

Grace Miller

Grace Miller

Dr. Georgia Newlin leads the Bluestone Elementary choir, known as the BlueTones.

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Dr. Georgia Newlin, a nine-week music teaching intern, leads the Bluetones every Tuesday and Thursday morning as Jessica Strawderman is on maternity leave. The Bluetones are the choir of Bluestone Elementary School, made up of 90 fourth and fifth graders. Newlin leaves next Friday, going into semi-retirement.

“So I’ve been a music teacher for many years. I’m actually heading towards retirement, and Mrs. Strawderman was one of my students, and she asked if I would sub for her. I said I would because I really like her a lot and enjoyed being her teacher,” Newlin said.

On Dec. 11, the Bluetones held a winter celebration performing christmas songs. The HHS choir performed two songs that night along with the Bluetones.

“Right now we’re doing a contemporary winter song, and it combines Jingle Bells with another song. Anything that they sing with partners, sometimes we improvise a jazz cannon that we have. They like to sing songs in other languages besides English,” Newlin said.

As Newlin is about to go into semi-retirement, she plans on working as an editor for the “Music Is Elementary” choral series.

“I will help them publish choral octavos for choirs. It’s in Cleveland, Ohio, but because everything is digital nowadays, I will actually just live here in Virginia and do my job here,” Newlin said.

Being a conductor for thirty years and teaching k-12 music, and even college students, Newlin has enjoyed teaching music and sees it as an important thing for herself.

“[Having a choir and singing] is the most important things that there are for many, many children. Some children it’s sports; some children being in the newspaper is their most important thing,” Newlin said. “But for the students that are in choir, that’s one of their most important things. It keeps them busy and keeps them out of trouble.”

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