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DeWitt Middle School Orchestra Takes the Stage with Stephen Spottswood and DJ Ramsey in the School’s First Hip Hop Performance

DeWitt Middle School will present its Orchestra Hip Hop Concert on Friday, May 26, at 7 p.m. in Kulp Auditorium at Ithaca High School. Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade orchestras will perform with guest violinist Stephen Spottswood and DJ Ramsey on the turntable.

“We are so excited to be jumping into a different type of music than we have done in the past,” Aaron Buck, DeWitt Middle Orchestra Director, said. “It is fantastic to be able to collaborate with so many talented people with this project. It definitely shows the power that music has to bring people together. The orchestra students and I are so excited to put on this concert for all to see!” 

The entire Ithaca City School District (ICSD) community is invited to gather for the concert at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. 

This hip hop concert comes after many months of preparation and rehearsals. The orchestra has worked hard to regain student interest after many did not return to playing following the pandemic. The middle school students have visited elementary schools, encouraging younger students to continue to play, hosted team-building activities, and worked hard to rebuild a sense of community they felt was lost during the pandemic. 

The performance will also help highlight an upcoming trip to Pittsburgh that the DeWitt orchestra is planning. The trip will give students the opportunity to take a master class with a professional conductor, attend a concert by the Pittsburgh Symphony, and sightsee. Donations to help fund the trip can be made here

The ICSD’s Fine and Performing Arts Department recognizes that the study of music, art, and theater inspires learning, critical thinking, identity development, and strong communities. We celebrate the authentic selves of all students and work to cultivate loving relationships through anti-racist, inclusive, and culturally responsive practices. Students explore their artistic voices and hone their skills in music, art, and theater through authentic performance opportunities in school and in the community.

Learn more at and follow the ICSD on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.