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From North Fork classrooms to Kenya: Riverhead tech start-up, Brady Rymer will stream concert to schools across globe

Children's artist Brady Rymer, center, will perform a concert that will be live-streamed to concerts across the world tomorrow at Southold Elementary School. From left to right: Dawn Carroll, Stephanie Suter, Brady Rymer, Ellen O'Neill, Francesca Arturi. Photo: Katharine Schroeder

After connecting students from dozens of schools around the world, a Riverhead tech start-up will bring a special piece of the North Fork straight to their classrooms this week.

Brady Rymer, a Grammy-nominated musician and children’s performer based in Southold, will play a concert tomorrow morning for Southold Elementary School that will be live-streamed in classrooms from Kenya to the Philippines.

“We wanted to celebrate the global connections that we’ve made, and what better way to do that than with a universal language like music?” said Francesca Arturi, a marketing associate with Buncee, which organized the concert.

The Riverhead tech start-up has reached more than 10,000 classrooms worldwide this year with its web-based education app. A powerful but kid-friendly presentation tool, Buncee has exploded in popularity with teachers over the past two years. The app allows users to create interactive, multi-slide presentations filled with pictures, video and music – a surprisingly easy and fun way to encourage students to get creative with their learning.

Buncee has also connected many of those students in a global pen-pal project, arranging Skype meet-and-greets between classrooms located across the globe and providing prompts and projects for “Buncee Buddy” classrooms to work on with their international pen-pals.

That includes a class of third graders at Southold Elementary School, which last year communicated back and forth with another elementary school class in Bulgaria.

Tomorrow’s event will bring together all the classrooms who participated in the Buncee Buddies pen-pal project for a concert celebrating this year’s theme: Peace. 

“We thought this would be a great way to provide a free concert for classrooms – not just on Long Island but anywhere in the world,” Arturi said.

The concert will feature Brady Rymer’s version of the Pete Seeger song “Well May The World Go,” which embodies the theme of international peace that has been the cornerstone of this year’s Buncee Buddies project.

“It’s a song that gently reminds us that we should live passionately and responsibly, knowing that what we leave behind will be passed on to future generations,” Rymer wrote on the Buncee blog. “It could also be a recipe for creating a peaceful world: Take care of yourself and each other, respect and honor the earth, and then simply… well may the world go.”

Buncee Buddy classrooms are being encouraged to Skype with their partner classrooms during the concert so that they can sing along with each other to the music. Buncee has also provided classrooms with a variety of prompts and projects related to the concert, from having students write their own verses to creating Buncee presentations about what the song lyrics mean to each student.

The concert will be live-streamed on Periscope tomorrow, starting at 9:30 a.m. Anyone can tune in by going to periscope.tv and searching for the hashtag “#bradyandbuncee.”

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Katie Blasl
Katie, winner of the 2016 James Murphy Cub Reporter of the Year award from the L.I. Press Club, is a reporter, editor and web developer for the LOCAL news websites. A Riverhead native, she is a 2014 graduate of Stony Brook University. Email Katie