Community Champions: Savannah Music Festival

Community Champions: Savannah Music Festival

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Great concerts have to begin somewhere. And the WTOC Community Champions at the Savannah Music Festival have a new program to get kids started with music.

All music is beautiful when you’re first learning to make it, right?

“I wanted to play music and learn more about it and I wanted to learn how to play an instrument,” said Gabrielle Harris, Juliette Gordon Low 5th grader.

And dozens of students have started getting that opportunity through the Savannah Music Festival’s Jazz Academy - an after-school program at Juliette Gordon Low Elementary that provides kids access to instruments and instruction.

“More and more as we come into a new era at the festival, we’ve been around for quite a long time, education is the type of thing that not only builds music appreciators and musicians, but I think is good for the overall community aspect of the festival,” said Ryan McMaken, SMF Artistic Director. “So, we have 30 students from around Savannah-Chatham Public Schools coming in. Many of them go to school here, but some are coming in from as far as Bloomingdale. And they will be learning some tuba players, some guitars, some drummers some base, trumpet, trombone.”

The Music Festival’s first attempt at instrumental training is starting at the beginning - introducing students to the basics of the instruments they’ll be learning.

“It’s important because if you put together the instrument the wrong way, it could break or it won’t sound right,” said Jaiden Jackson, Juliette Gordon Low 5th grader.

“It’s kind of them started on an instrument. So, this will be after school every day this semester and towards the end of the semester, we’ll have a recital and we hope by springtime we’ll be ready for a concert,” McMaken.

So, for now, it’s a start. But with this free instruction from the WTOC Community Champions at the Savannah Music Festival, who knows how they’ll soon sound.

The fifth graders starting in the program will be able to stay in it and continue to learn music through 12th grade.

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