Everything's coming up Rosie's

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Music Together leader Rosemary Hennessy and her daughters, Jillian Longobardo, 25, and Rebecca Hennessy, 11.

GALLOWAY – Rosemary Hennessy decided to celebrate her 10th year of Music Together of Galloway with a party for participants and alumnus.

The program is for parents and their children – from birth to second grade – to enjoy music with “teacher Rosie” for an hour each week and then hopefully as families for the rest of the week and the rest of their lives.

The event – in two sessions Saturday, Aug. 25 - included drawing, playing and eating in addition to a special session featuring world music.

By coincidence, the international Music Together will mark its 25 anniversary this year.

“They decided to use my party as a template for the national celebration,” said Hennessy, who lives in Port Republic.

Hennessee, who consults for the international organization as well as running her own program, received high praise from Music Together leaders.

“Rosemary truly embodies the spirit of Music Together,” said Julie Sansone, national marketing manager. “Her commitment to spreading the joy of music to the young children in her community is a wonderful role model and inspiration to other center directors all over the world.”

She thanked Hennessy on behalf of Music Together founders Ken Guilmartin and Lili Levinowitz and the entire staff.

“Rosemary’s natural warmth, enthusiasm, and creativity shine through in all of her endeavors,” said Sansone, who attended one of the sessions at Reformation Lutheran Church here. “We are so lucky that she is part of the Music Together family.”

Hennessy reflected on music in people’s lives.

“Viewed by some as simply icing on the cake, music is so much more,” she said. “Our propensity for making music is universal and it’s one of the uniquely human ways that we express ourselves throughout every stage or our lives.” From our cooing as infants, to the rhythm of our heartbeats, to the childhood chants and songs we create and sing, to the music we use to celebrate special events and recall memorable occasions, we are musical beings, she said. “Making music uses every part of who we are – our voice, feet, hands, memory, emotions, imagination, breath, voice, heart and soul,” Hennessy said. “What other learned life skill can make such a claim? Active music-making nurtures cognitive, physical, language, social, and emotional learning.”

It comforts us when we’re sad, soothes us when we’re upset, energizes us when we’re tired, inspires us when we’re indifferent, and aids us in creating bonds with those we love, she said.

“Every human being has the right and the capacity to be a music maker,” Hennessy said. “Without melody and rhythm, where would we be? The world would be an awfully quiet place. I love, love, love what I get to do for my work, and am so happy and blessed to share it with our community.”

Hennessy’s two assistants are her daughters.

Jillian Longobardo, 25, is a 2005 Absegami High School graduate and a 2009 Richard Stockton College grad. She’s now finishing her studies in the physician assistant program at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

“I help with this sort of thing,” she said of the party. “I also do computer work.”

Hennessy said she does more than that.

“She helps me with the administration part,” she said. “She’s really good with computers.” 

Rebecca Hennessy is in seventh grade at Port Republic School.

“I usually go to class and help out with the kids and the music,” she said. “Sometimes I help out at home with the computers; I find documents and stuff.”

Hennessy sometimes plays xylophone with the class.

Rosemary Hennessy, teacher Rosie, is a licensed director and certified teacher.

Hennessy said she trained in Princeton in the fall of 2002 and continues to deepen her understanding of music and young children by attending workshops and lessons throughout each year.

In June 2008 the Center for Music and Young Children in Princeton awarded Hennessy Music Together Certification Level I status for outstanding achievement in teaching, musicianship, program philosophy and parent education.

In July 2009, she completed a graduate level Orff-Schulwerk course at Villanova University. The Orff philosophy combines the elements of speech, rhythm, movement, dance and song. At the heart of all this is improvisation - the instinct children have to create their own melodies and to explore their imaginations.

Hennessy teaches children from birth through elementary school using the Orff-Schulwerk method.

Julie Seltzer of Port Republic attended the party with her 4-year-old twins, Devon and Emily. She said she met Hennessy in March 2009.

“They love her – they’re the Rosie fan club,” Seltzer said of her children. “Every semester you get a new book and CDs. We drive up to Boston and for six hours they sing along.”

“Wonderful” and “inspirational” were words she used to describe Hennessy.

“She loves the kids and the kids love her,” Seltzer said. “The party is a lot of fun. This is great for the kids.”

Nicole Lefsky of Mays Landing was having a ball with her 2-year-old son, Bailey.

“We started in the winter,” Lefsky said. “We’ve been to three classes. We look forward to coming every week. We love it.”

Music Together of Galloway meets at the Reformation Lutheran Church on Route 9. The fall semester runs for 10 weeks beginning Monday, Sept. 24. Classes are offered weekday mornings, early evenings and Saturday mornings.

Contact Hennessy at (609) 748-8309 or see www.musictogetherofgalloway.com for information or to register for classes.

Twins Devon and Emily Seltzer look up from coloring.

Kelli and Henry Chan ready to color.

Corinne Dellanoce with sons Joey and Dylan

Todd, Kimberly, Frankie and Alex Mastro.

Deanna, Adrianna and Abby Allen.

Rosemary Hennessy admires a youngster’s coloring.

Olivia Lefsky and her mom mom.

Dominykas and Amelija Rutkauskas with their daddy.

Children frolic during a dance within a circle.

Rosemary Hennessy dances with group holding hands in a circle.

Rosemary Hennessy dances with group holding hands in a circle.

Youngsters come to life as music is turned on.

Lefsky and her mom mom, Deanna and Adrianna Allen and Julie and Emily Seltzer.

Corinne and Dylan Dellanoce.

Kids take turns beating the big drums.

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