Duke Ellington didn't consider himself a jazz musician.
He said he was a musician who played jazz. And what a musician: pianist, bandleader, composer of more than 1,000 songs including standards like "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," "Satin Doll" and "Sophisticated Lady."
Having your children in band or orchestra can be expensive proposition, but as it turns out, not always. Youth Orchestras of San Antonio has a decades-long history in the Alamo City, but YOSA Más is still new, having been officially established in January, 2013. The word más in the title has a double meaning. Besides "more" YOSA Más also stands for YOSA, Music After School.
The John Lennon Educational Bus stopped this week in San Antonio, where it was stationed at Café College downtown. The staff visited middle schools, high schools and colleges where they help students write, record, and make videos for original music.
Some students have never played instruments, so the bus staff also gave basic lessons. The bus has been around for 16 years, and they anticipate a second bus will be deployed in May for use in Europe.
On Saturday the Kashmere High School Marching band, the modern day group of students carrying the name of the legendary Conrad O. Johnson-led award winning group of the late 60s, marched to lead the Save Texas Schools rally at the State Capitol in Austin to urge lawmakers to stop cutting funding to public schools and reign-in standardized testing.
With legislative discourse choking public education, activists, parents, and students descend on the capitol tomorrow for Save Texas Schools. The rally runs noon-1:30pm, but the march on state government begins at the Congress Ave. Bridge, 10:45am, led by the Kashmere HS Marching Band, descended from the famous Houston funkestra.
Bravo to Lisa Phillips, author, blog journalist, arts and leadership educator, speaker and business owner for this reminder that arts education in our schools does much more than simply teach crafts, music and acting. There's also problem solving, creativity, confidence, and so much more that kids take away from these studies.
For director Marc Evans, filming “Hunky Dory” was like coming home. After thrillers, documentaries, and dramas, Evans says his new film is “very much informed by the memory of being a teenager, and how much music meant to me as a teenager.”