West Virginia Wesleyan College's Big Band is hitting the road to raise awareness of jazz, a uniquely American form of music, among young people.
Under the direction of James Moore, assistant professor of music, the band will perform at Robert L. Bland Middle School in Lewis County, Mountaineer Middle School and Bridgeport High School in Harrison County. The school performances, sponsored by the West Virginia Wine and Jazz Festival's "Music in the Schools" program, will take place this week, through Thursday.
"This is a great opportunity for us to reach out to young people, especially middle school students, and educate them about America's music," Moore said. "Plus, we hope that our trips will generate some excitement among the younger kids about playing instruments and getting involved in school band programs."
Moore thinks the most important component of this experience is for the Wesleyan students themselves. The experience gives the Big Band members a chance to bond, and the performances will provide a "shot in the arm."
"They get a chance to see how jazz music can affect young people, and it sometimes affirms or reaffirms the fact that this music still matters," he said. "When you work so hard to learn to play a music that has largely been torn away from the fabric of American contemporary culture it can be discouraging sometimes."
Wesleyan's jazz ensembles perform regularly at college and community functions as well as for the Wine and Jazz Fest's programs.
More information about upcoming performances is available by contacting James Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.