By Michael Gelbwasser, Contributing Writer
Region – A Halloween bride played the drums at Grafton Middle School Oct. 26. Apple Tree Arts teacher Kim Webster soon joined her, on guitar.
Apple Tree’s third annual Spooky Halloween Music Festival encouraged trick-or-treaters, many in costume, to try a variety of instruments at a musical “petting zoo.”
Caroline Brown, 6, of Grafton, dressed as a Halloween bride, picked up some drumsticks and found Webster playing beside her.
“We wanted to come and support Apple Tree. We think it’s a great nonprofit. And the kids are excited to dress up in their Halloween costumes,” said Caroline’s mother, Cindy.
About 200 people attended the free music festival, Apple Tree Marketing Director Dana Wilson said.
The Claflin Hill Youth Symphonies rehearsed and performed in the school auditorium as kids played Halloween-themed games and tried instruments in the hallway that were brought to the party by Robinson Music of Westborough.
“There are many children here that have never picked up an instrument in their life. Just to see their faces and to have them hold it, and to give them a little bit of encouragement is just great,” said Webster, who teaches music and movement to preschoolers and kindergarteners.
Wilson said Apple Tree Arts and the Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra do the festival “together, in order to bring orchestra to Grafton, and for people to be able to come in and listen to the symphony.”
Seven families in transition who are currently residing in a motel in Northborough were also among the guests at the party. Former Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce President Barbara Clifford had contacted the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) who graciously transported the families to and from the party. Deborah Penta, the founder and CEO of Penta Communications, Inc., in Westborough, purchased costumes for the children to wear.
This was the second year in a row that Apple Tree Arts invited the children in transition to the party.
“It’s just a nice way to let them have some fun and be like other kids,” Clifford said. “Thanks to Apple Tree Arts, the WRTA and Deborah Penta, they were able to do just that.”