Audiences love to watch children enjoying what they do on stage. May it be a dance performance, a song number, or a drama, it is outstanding how children, in their early years, start building their talents and confidence for the performing arts. Other children make these a hobby—an activity to fritter away time. In comparison, others further their careers by joining clubs in school or musical programs. Either way, children bring smiles to audiences and listeners when they perform. The young roster of Orffrageous Publications, LLC, does more than that.
A leading orff ensemble in Dekalb County, Georgia, Orffrageous has donned international stages and received acclaim from some of the most iconic bodies in the music industry. The group consists of young individuals who play several percussion instruments like metallophones, xylophones, glockenspiels, drums, and many more. The ensemble presents a dynamic interaction among the members as they dance, move around, incorporate drama, and sing to a wide array of songs.
Back in December, the group went viral after their performance of a Willy Wonka medley I Dream of Chocolate. The video garnered thousands of views after only 24 hours. They have also made renditions to songs like The Nutcracker and Earth Wind, and Fire, and breathed creativity to Mozart melodies and the songs of Michael Jackson. In 2013, they received the Congressional Recognition Award from Congressman Hank Johnson. Several years later, in 2019, they graced stages of the Georgia Music Educators Association Conference and The Cobb Wind Symphony.
The xylophone instrumental arm of Orffrageous, Dynamix, was handpicked to perform before “the throngs of guests” at the Holiday Tours at the White House under the Obama administration. They became the first and the youngest xylophone group to ever perform inside America’s center of power. Adding to their firsts is an invitation to perform in the largest music conference in the world, The Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, where only the finest are selected.
Orffrageous has also made appearances in television programs like America’s Got Talent, Channel 2 Action News, Good Day Atlanta, and 11 Alive News. The musical course received a Program of Distinction award from the Music Education Alliance under the Dr. William P. Foster Award. Even when the award is categorically given to middle and high school groups, Orffrageous Publications, LLC, of Dunaire Elementary was recognized as such.
Chelsea Cook is the mind behind Orffrageous. She holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in vocal performance from Clayton State University and Georgia State University respectively. Shortly before finishing her graduate studies, Cook burned with a passion for teaching music. So she entered the field of elementary music education, where she struggled to gain footing. However, after years of adjustments and keeping hold of her passion, she managed to get through. Atlanta Journal Constitution listed her as one of the Top 10 Educators of the 2018 Celebrating Teachers Awards. Cook is also the 2020–2021 Teacher of the Year of Dunaire Elementary. Her struggle toward success has been published as a book, Lemonade: Making the Most of What You Have.
With her love for music, she created Orffrageous Publications, LLC. She intends to expand the horizons of her young musicians and urge others to do the same. Cook said, “So many were eager to know just how I did it. I have given seminars on introducing Orff-Schulwerk to the urban classroom to using Orff to bridge that gap between classical and popular music and how to think outside the box when trying to build a successful music program.”For more about Chelsea Cook and the Orffrageous Publications, LLC, visit their website. Follow their Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts.