Outreach mission brings jazz legends to high school musicians

October 27, 2009

State College, Pa. -- Members of the Dizzy GIllespie All Star Band, in town to perform at Penn State's Eisenhower Auditorium on Wednesday, Oct. 28, visited State College Area High School on Tuesday, Oct. 27, as part of Penn State's Center for the Performing Arts' (CPA) educational outreach mission. Led by John Lee (bass), band members James Moody (saxophone), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Greg Gisbert (trumpet), Willie Jones III (drumset) and Duke Lee (auxiliary percussion) listened to the high school musicians play two songs they're learning for an upcoming competition, and then offered their insights on how to refine what they were playing. The professionals also sat in with the high schoolers, playing alongside them, and finished the afternoon with a performance of their own.

The CPA works to involve performers in master classes for Penn State students and outreach to the community are part of the University's educational mission. The center also offers informances, which are special performances of some shows for school groups combined with information about the show. In addition, most CPA events include Artistic Viewpoints, an informal discussion featuring a visiting artist or local expert, offered one hour before the performance and is free for ticket-holders.

For information about the Center for the Performing Arts or tickets to the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band's Oct. 28 performance, visit http://www.cpa.psu.edu online. For photos from the high school master class, visit http://live.psu.edu/stilllife/2169 online.

  • Pianist Cyrus Chestnut explains one of the most important keys to the success of a jazz band: everyone must listen to what's being played by others in the band. To see more photos, click on the image above.

    IMAGE: Annemarie Mountz
Last Updated November 18, 2010