It is hard to believe it has been a little over a year since we have had the opportunity to gather in-person. We have faced unimaginable circumstances as individuals, families, and a community. But because of the commitment and loyalty of our donors, JazzArts Charlotte has not wavered in providing cultural enrichment and music education to bring creative inspiration to your lives and the Charlotte community. Your support allows us to continue flagship programs, such as our youth workshops for middle and high school student musicians, which in turn provides opportunities for our local teaching artists to work during the pandemic.
We are tremendously grateful for programs that continued such as our JazzArts youth ensembles because this year has been especially difficult on our youth. A few weeks ago, Lonnie had the opportunity to meet with the JazzArts Youth All-Stars at a socially distanced in-person rehearsal. She was very excited to have a chance to see our students, after not having that opportunity for over a year.
Unlike past interactions, the students were very quiet and almost melancholy throughout the session. They lacked their usual spark, and nothing seemed to get them excited. They had not performed for an audience since the previous year.
“I haven’t been inspired to practice lately…” – Current All-Star Student
The world our youth knew was turned upside down overnight and they’ve had to adjust to remote learning, pivotal events cancelled, and family stressors due to the pandemic. We knew continuing this program was essential for these students to break away from daily stress, to have a space of normalcy to express themselves through jazz music, and to engage with fellow peers.
Finally, the JazzArts All-Stars Youth Ensemble had the opportunity to perform live at JazzArts first in-person event of the spring – the Jazz Appreciation Day Celebration. We really hope that you had an opportunity to come out to see how your investment impacts these young musicians. A renewed energy and excitement overcame the students as they quickly unloaded their instruments and prepared for the evening performance.
Standing on stage in front of over 200 people, you could see on their faces that they had been waiting for this moment all year. As each member played, Lonnie envisioned what it must have been like for them this past year.
At this performance, the All-Stars exhibited a collective sense of pride and newfound hope to finally be able to showcase all their talent and the skills they practiced all year. As the crowd applauded, you could see their smiles all the way from the back of the venue.
“I hadn’t really played since the pandemic. I’m so happy to play again!” – Current All-Star Student
Moments like these are why JazzArts Charlotte is needed in our community now more than ever.
Will you consider a donation to support and keep the music playing?
Thank you so much for your investment. Without you JazzArts Charlotte would not be able provide the excellent performances, youth and adult education, and musician support in the way we do.
Please remember, because of you, Jazz Lives Here in Charlotte.