The Wenatchee World

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A musical effort like no other

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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.

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