...for the hard work.
Discovery Southeast has a fantastic program that is well supported by just about everyone. Our elementary schools, grades 3 through 5 have had some really fun and educating experiences. One forgotten mention in the article of Sunday, March 9, is that Discovery Southeast is funded in the school by each school's Parent-Teacher Association, with Discovery working to attain grants to assist us, and not the Juneau School District. We fund the programs we choose to support at each year's budget meeting.
We, the parents and teachers, raise funds each year for our own school's programs that aren't covered by JSD. In order to make Discovery in our school happen, fund-raising has to occur on a larger scale. It is the parents and the teachers who make this program happen for their kids. I just want to be sure that is stressed and give credit where credit is due.
Thank you to everyone who volunteers and donates money to each of their school's PTO fund-raisers.
...for the support.
The students and parents of the Floyd Dryden Jazz Band would like to express our gratitude to the Floyd Dryden Administration, the Juneau School Board, and the community of Sitka for their support in our attending the Sitka Jazz Festival on February 13-15. Twenty seventh and eighth-grade students, six parent chaperones, and the Jazz Band Director, Scott Black, attended the two-day Sitka High School-sponsored festival. The students attended workshops for their specific instruments and for the entire band, which were taught by Bob Athayde and his son Kyle, Steve Turre, and musicians from the Air Force's Greatlanders (a 14 piece jazz band). The students felt they learned (in their words): "How to get a better sound out of my instrument," "The basics of jazz improvisation," "It is better to be confident about yourself than timid or afraid when you are playing," and "Work on a song until it is unique; it sounds much better if you put some of your own style into it." Floyd Dryden's musicians performed under the bright lights of the main stage in Friday's evening concert, and again Saturday for the public in Sitka's Centennial Hall. One student said "I can stand in front of 200-300 people and play pretty darn good." Another said the most memorable life experience was "when we saw how big the stage was but still played really good."
The students were able to listen to and interact with other Southeast Alaska middle school, high school jazz musicians, as well as a variety of professional musicians. Sitka middle school and high school band families generously housed our kids for the entire three-night stay. It was a memorable experience for everyone involved. Another student comment captured the experience: "just hanging out with different people meeting other students and musicians having a good time."
We hope that Juneau students will continue to have this wonderful opportunity in the future.
Floyd Dryden Jazz Band
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