For anyone out near Hickory, NC this weekend you can come out and hear the North Carolina Western Region Jazz Clinic students perform on Saturday, February 18, 2012. The concert starts at 2:30 in Belk Auditorium on the Lenoir Rhyne University campus.
I’m excited to be directing this year’s middle school honor jazz ensemble. Teaching middle school students has some challenges that you don’t have to worry so much about with high school and college students, but one thing that I find very refreshing is that getting everyone improvising is easy. At that age it seems that the students haven’t yet developed a fear of making up music on the spot, but when they get a little older they’re more likely to freeze up and never volunteer to take a solo. I’ve got an improvisation clinic I’ve put together particularly for middle school students that I’ll run them through and if things are going well, we might even end up composing our own chart this weekend to play on the concert.
A couple of people who live nearer to Hickory than Asheville emailed me a while back about catching a lesson with me. If you drop me a line early enough I can schedule my travel plans so I can stick around a little longer in Hickory for a lesson. If that doesn’t work out, keep an eye out here as I’ve got some things scheduled in Winston-Salem in April.