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Liberty ‘Treble Makers’ to show off talents on big stage

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LIBERTY, Mo. -- These aren't your average elementary school music students. They're called Treble Makers and they're about to represent their Clay County hometown at the biggest gathering of music educators in the Show-Me State.

Keeping early morning hours doesn't bother one standout music group from Warren Hills Elementary School in Liberty. Twice per week, the Treble Makers assemble in a rehearsal classroom before school begins, getting ready for the biggest show of their young lives.

Whether it's traditional instruments, such as xylophones and drums, or musical tools that are out of the ordinary, like boomwhackers, Jennifer Patterson's fourth and fifth graders are showing skill beyond their years. The Warren Hills Treble Makers are one of only 32 musical groups asked to perform at the Missouri Music Educator Association Conference.  Patterson says more than 140 groups were turned away.

“They’re amazing,” Patterson told FOX 4 News. “We sing. We move our bodies. We play drums. We play xylophones and all kinds of percussion instruments.”

“With all learning, if the kids aren't enjoying themselves, they have a hard time remaining focused and staying on task.”

Patterson should know. The UMKC graduate started this extracurricular music program two years ago, and now, her students have enough skill to play a huge show at a place such as Tan-Tar-A Resort.

“Mrs. Patterson is great because she pressures us to get to our best. We know she cares about us. She pushes us to be our best,” Abigail Hilke, Warren Hills Fifth Grader, said.

“We're on the beat and we stick together and we trust each other on what we're doing,” Kennedy Williamson, Warren Hills Fourth Grader, said. “We can just listen to each other and get on the beat.”

Patterson’s choreography adds extra performance to the show. She says she’s also teaching interpersonal communication skills, such as conversation techniques and basic handshakes.

“We are teaching life skills,” Patterson said.  “Having that confidence, you know, lifelong, and not just in the group.”

Patterson says the Tan-Tar-A show won't be a mere song and dance formality. That music hall will be filled with music educators, critiquing every word, every movement and every note the Treble Makers produce.

The Treble Makers aren't the only local connection to next Thursday's conference. Musical groups from UMKC  will also perform and Tan-Tar-A, not to mention high school ensembles from both Blue Springs high schools, Rockhurst High, and the Youth Symphony of Kansas City.