District 64 Jazz Festival

We used the $1000 grant to hire the Jazz Community Big Band (contract attached) to perform with our students at the Jazz Festival, and established a mentor/mentee opportunity for our students to “sit in with the pros.” Jazz bands from Lincoln Middle School, Emerson Middle School, and Maine South High School each had an opportunity to play alongside these fabulous professional musicians. While playing alongside more experienced musicians, the students aspired to a higher level of musical achievement in an effort to match the sounds they heard around to them. Students discovered great possibilities when they heard their music performed at a higher level of musical artistry. Students gained a perspective of how a performer’s artistic background and experience enable him/her to convert written musical notation into sounds that convey feelings and emotion through the nuance of style. This kind of learning cannot take place in a traditional learning environment. It used to occur through musical mentoring, jam sessions and apprenticeships, but it rarely happens today. This was a unique learning and performing opportunity for our students, and we appreciate it very much!