Jazz Orchestra Swings at CPS Education Concert

On December 5th, CYSO presented our first ever Education Concert with Jazz Orchestra. 1000 CPS students from elementary schools primarily on the South and West sides of the city us at Studebaker Theater for an interactive performance featuring our 25 high school-age jazz musicians under the leadership of director Pharez Whitted.

The concert was a huge success, with students dancing in their seats (and sometimes the aisles!) to pieces by Duke Ellington, Horace Silver, and Russ Freeman. Director Whitted lit up in front of the students, explaining the music’s history and introducing them to some of the fundamentals of jazz. Members of each section demonstrated the individual sounds of each of their instruments and student soloists wowed the crowd.

A group of students were also selected to sit-in with the band on stage, giving them the opportunity to observe the performance from a unique vantage point and report back to their classmates afterwards. Before the performance, these students also had a chance to interact and ask questions of the CYSO musicians.

We’re looking forward to a full schedule of Education Concerts in the new year! Check out the schedule here.




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