There are a host of great reasons to support Milestones with a year-end donation. Meet three.
Imagine that you loved math but your school didn't have any math courses. Or that you had moves like Michael Jordan but your school didn't have a basketball team. How would you feel? Probably unfulfilled, always wondering what it would be like to be able to do what you love surrounded by other kids who shared your passion.
So it was with many of the kids who participate in the Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop ensembles. Of the 17 schools represented in the program, 10 do not have jazz performance groups. For these kids, Milestones represents their only opportunity to learn this art form. Meet three of them:
- Layla is an eighth grader who attends a private school that doesn't have an ensemble music program. She plays the oboe and the piano. Until this year, she played the piano pretty much for an audience of one. Now, she is thriving as a budding jazz pianist in the Milestones intermediate ensemble. Says her director: "She's incredible, but has never played [jazz] with other people. Practicing to your metronome isn't the whole story – you need to interact with people to make this music, and I can tell she's digging it."
- DeRod is an eighth grader who attends Terronez Middle School and plays the trumpet in the school band. Not the typical eighth grader, DeRod lists Duke Ellington and John Coltrane as among his favorite artists. Unfortunately, Terronez is not able to offer a jazz program. He practically begged his mom to send him to a middle school that had a jazz band. But the nearest one was much too far away. Then DeRod's band director at Terronez told him about Milestones, and DeRod found an outlet to play the music he loves. Asked if he is enjoying the Milestones experience, DeRod's smile lights up the room. "I really like it."
- Caleb also plays the trumpet and is a sophomore at Immanuel High School in Reedley. Caleb's mom, Melissa, loves the opportunities that Caleb has at Immanuel. Except for one thing: there is no instrumental music program. For a kid who loves jazz, that will give you the blues. Today, though, Caleb is thriving in the Milestones advanced ensemble. Does he like it? "No," Melissa said. "He LOVES it! It's all he will talk about when he gets home from rehearsal every week!"
Layla, DeRod and Caleb are just three of the many kids who, thanks to JazzFresno's Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop, now have an opportunity to learn what playing jazz is all about. They now have access to a first-rate jazz education program with directors who are among the best in the Valley. They are becoming even better musicians and gaining the confidence, communication skills and creativity that kids acquire when they play jazz.
This holiday season we are seeking your support for this incredible program. Please consider a year-end donation that will allow us to continue to offer, and even expand, these opportunities for kids like Layla, DeRod and Caleb next year and beyond.
We have big plans for 2013. In addition to expanding the Milestones ensemble program, we are planning a Summer Jazz Combo Camp as well as a year-round monthly workshop program. Each gift great and small allows us to move these plans forward and helps ensure that that this wonderful, indigenous American art form continues to thrive in our Valley.
With your help, we will make it happen! Please click on the amount that is most comfortable for you. Or, enter an amount of your choosing. If you would like to contribute but do not wish to do so online, please make your check payable to JAZZFRESNO and mail to: Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop, PO Box 14197, Fresno CA 93650.
Thank you for your support!
Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop - A JazzFresno Project
p.s. In this inaugural year of the Milestones program, we've offered more than $10,000 in scholarships, and no child was refused access to the program due to a lack of funds! Thank you for helping us continue to make this possible!
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