A musical effort like no other
Friday, August 6, 2010
How to contribute
Contributions may be sent to:
Wenatchee Jazz Workshop
c/o The Woods House
Conservatory of Music
323 First Street
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Nowhere else. There is no other place where a 13-year-old learning to play a clarinet or trumpet or trombone can come to school, walk into the band room and sit down next to one of the nation’s great musicians. Nowhere else would they look at the same music, play the same notes on the same instrument, and then have the great musician turn to the 13-year-old and say, “Man, I can dig it.”
This only happens in Wenatchee. It is the Wenatchee Jazz Workshop, where each year hundreds of music students from Wenatchee and Eastmont school districts attend a week of sessions with renowned jazz musicians, longtime professionals, masters of their instrument who often have shared the stage with the very famous, from Woody Herman to Stevie Wonder. The Jazz Workshop is not a clinic or a lesson or a master class, where a name musician stands before a captive audience, plays a bit of this or that, offers a few stock tips and then takes off. In this workshop the masters sit with the students. They play together. The master musicians advise, they coach, they encourage, but they also lead by example. The students can hear just what the music is supposed to sound like. They can see how a professional approaches the task. Then, by the end of the week they all perform together. The effect of this experience and the inspiration it provides to young minds is difficult to overestimate. The magical benefits of a musical education, for learning in all classrooms, long into life, are that much more evident.
The Jazz Workshop was the dream of Jeff Sandberg, now-retired middle school band director from the Wenatchee School District. He devised the concept, lured the musicians and nursed the program financially. The Jazz Workshop is now approaching its 11th year, set for February 2011. It is most important to note that the workshop receives no financial support from schools or taxpayers. Students are not charged a fee. It is funded by donations and grants. It exists solely because businesses and individuals have been willing to support this unique endeavor. Its finances, though, have more often than not been doubtful, the future uncertain. Community and business support is still the essential ingredient to keep the music flowing. Remember, it only happens here, and it can only happen with community support.
Ensuring the continued success of the Wenatchee Jazz Workshop has been identified as one 2010 objective of The Wenatchee World editorial board. We are encouraging our readers to contribute to this valuable program and will keep you updated on its progress.
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