Students in the seventh and eighth grades will benefit from a grant received by the Sampson County Arts Council through the cARTwheels program. The grant will allow youngsters from both Clinton City and Sampson County schools to experience a live performance similar to the CenterStage program where students are exposed to the arts. The students will take part in A Tour of Jazz performance by the John Brown Jazz Orchestra on Friday, April 26 at the Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center. Teachers will also be provided a workshop to help them create entry ways for their students to receive the most from the performance. The workshop for teachers will be Monday, Feb. 18, from 9 a.m. until noon, at the Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center
“We are so excited to have received this cARTwheels grant. It will be another wonderful opportunity for the students of our county to be exposed to another form of the arts,” expressed Sampson Arts Council executive director, Kara Donatelli. “We are thrilled to be have John Brown to come with his jazz orchestra and perform. He is simply a fantastic performer and teacher. He and one of his other bands performed for us during the Alive after five series this past season.”
According to the North Carolina Arts Council, cARTwheels is an educational performing arts touring program that ensures students in the state of North Carolina experience free professionally-staged opera, dance, theater, and music performances at quality venues before they leave school.Each performance is 50 minutes and appropriate for students. cARTwheels educational materials, such as Performance Guides and Teacher Workshops, help teachers prepare students for the performance; they align with the N. C. Core Curriculum and connect the performance and schoolwork. The performances and accompanying materials enhance learning in all academic subjects and promote essential 21st century learning skills: global awareness, creativity, critical thinking, and communication skills, as well as social and cross-cultural skills.
cARTwheels grants also assist communities in their efforts to develop “whole” children who will eventually become thoughtful, contributing members of society, as well as future patrons of the arts.
Donatelli explained that the county was very fortunate to have such a well known and talented performer come as a result of the cARTwheels grant.
“I know John Brown and he is wonderful. He will relate to all the students and teachers. It should be a great day of fun, learning and entertainment for all who are fortunate to take part,” remarked Donatelli.
Brown, bassist, composer, educator and actor, is a native of Fayetteville and currently lives in Durham. He is a graduate of the School of Music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the School of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Brown currently serves as director of the Jazz Program and Associate Professor of the Practice of Music at Duke University. He has served on the faculties of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Central University and Guilford College (NC). He has been performing professionally since his teens and has performed in the United States and abroad with artists like Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, Elvin Jones, Nnenna Freelon, Cyrus Chestnut, Diahann Carroll, Rosemary Clooney, Nell Carter, Lou Donaldson, Slide Hampton, Nicholas Payton, Frank Foster, Larry Coryell, Cedar Walton, Fred Wesley, Bernard Purdie and Mark Whitfield, as well as giving regular performances as a substitute with the North Carolina Symphony since 1992.
The Tour of Jazz that will be performed by the John Brown Jazz Orchestra will be a huge performance from a “little” orchestra. It features music that shows the reach of jazz music as explained by Donatelli. The band first performs selections to introduce students to the sounds of the different instruments and to the different styles of music. The students will then hear how jazz musicians transform tunes into jazz pieces like Duke Ellington’s music from Shakespeare and the Nutcracker, Dizzy Gillespie’s “Grovin’ High,” a brand new version of “Lulu’s Back in Town,” and the band’s arrangement of some of today’s contemporary music.
“This experience should be something these students will remember,” said Donatelli. “This 11-piece ‘little’ big band packs a punch that will show the power of jazz ensemble and will be a finger-snapping, toe-tapping good time for everyone,” added the director.
To contact Billy Todd, call 910-592-8137 ext. 117, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.