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Like its namesake, Edward Byrom Elementary School goes West

TIMES PHOTO: ADAM WICKHAM - Fourth-grade students at Edward Byrom Elementary School stage an afternoon performance of 'To the West We Go' last Thursday.Fourth-grade students at Edward Byrom Elementary School loaded up their wagons, yoked their oxen and hit the trail Thursday in their annual music program.

Music teacher Cristi McClellan said she likes to direct programs based on what students are learning at each grade level. The Oregon Trail curriculum and fourth-grade music program are perennial favorites.

“Typically, we follow what the classes are teaching at that time,” she explained.

Thursday's program, “To the West We Go,” started off with a rendition of Oregon, My Oregon, the official state song. But the program also included some fun and silly songs, punctuated with information, trivia and dialogue about the Oregon Trail and the pioneer life in between tunes.

McClellan estimated that between 250 and 300 people crowded into Byrom Elementary's cafeteria for the evening performance, after the fourth grade performed a “dress rehearsal” in the afternoon for the enjoyment of the rest of the student body.

“Byrom really packs them in,” the music teacher said. “We use every chair in the house, that's for sure.”

The school's namesake, Edward Byrom, was a pioneer himself. He was one of the earliest white settlers in the Tualatin area during the 19th century.

Fourth-graders at Byrom Elementary learn about the Oregon Trail and pioneer settlement in the area as part of their lesson plans.

TIMES PHOTO: ADAM WICKHAM - Hungry pioneers on the Oregon Trail pound out the 'Hot Lunch Jam' as part of their fourth-grade music program at Edward Byrom Elementary School.