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ClSD to Headline April 26 Chamber of Commerce Luncheon

Cleburne ISD will headline the program of Wednesday’s Cleburne Chamber of Commerce quarterly luncheon with student performances, highlights from the Cleburne High School CTE Industry Tour and the presentation of the 2023 Adopter of the Year Award.

                Those in attendance will also be among the first to meet Dr. Jeff Hanks, who has been named the District’s Interim Superintendent. The luncheon will take place in the Exhibit Hall of the Cleburne Conference Center.

                Santa Fe Elementary fourth grader Hayden Alcantar and the 46-member Adams Elementary Forte Music Club will provide the entertainment. Both performed at the annual CISD Multicultural Fair in March.

                Quickly earning a reputation as an entertainment star at Santa Fe, Alcantar is the back-to-back winner of the school talent show. A Mariachi singer, he will perform La de la Mochila Azul, a song about a boy's sadness over the absence of a girl with a blue backpack who is no longer coming to school.  

         “I was Hayden’s teacher last year,” Marcia Byrd said. “At that talent show, I experienced a Hayden I had never seen before. When he stepped on the stage, it was nothing like the student in my class. He was a performer—with an amazing display of confidence and a voice to match. It was totally natural—he sings from the heart.”

                “At this year’s talent show, he sang a song for our teachers,” Byrd said.  “I was moved—he was on his knees, singing to us. It was beautiful.”

                The nine-year-old says it’s “just fun” when he sings. He has no plans to be an entertainer when he grows up—he wants to play baseball.

                “It takes my mind off things,” Hayden said. “Singing makes me feel better. I liked being in the talent show--I think I’m becoming known as the school singer.”

                His mother, Diana Calderon, says her son’s singing talents have caught the family by surprise.

                “None of us sing,” she said. “It just seems to come naturally to him, and he enjoys it. He doesn’t get shy when it comes to singing. I try to give him some suggestions or ask if he’s okay and he tells me he’s fine--he knows what to do. He sang at a wedding with 200 in attendance, after being asked by the couple. He just wants to do this for fun. He tells me ‘If they ask me to sing—I’ll do it.’”

                The Adams Elementary Forte Music Club, made up of fourth and fifth graders, is under the direction of Chrissy Sample. The recipient of more than $12,000 in Cleburne Education Foundation Impact Grant Awards, the Adams music teacher engages her students in singing—and the playing of instruments—beginning with her pre-kindergarten learners. Her CEF grant awards have provided classroom sets of xylophones, boom whackers and Tubano drums. Ukeleles are also a part of her instrument inventory.

                “I was a middle school band director for seven years,” Sample said. “I chose to major in music education because I had been in band. In recruiting students for my band program, I found the majority had never played an instrument and didn’t know how to count music. It was like teaching elementary music to middle schoolers.”

                “This inspired me to consider teaching elementary music—and knowing how I wanted to teach it,” she said. “My students might be self-conscious about singing, but they can learn to play an instrument—and play with confidence. I have 30 fifth graders who want to take band next year and I feel they have gained the tools to be successful. I know they have gained the confidence--and will likely stick with it.”

                The serving line for Wednesday’s Chamber quarterly luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. with the program beginning at noon. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 817-645-2455 or online: