Linden students to get an education in jazz

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 10, 2006

Courtesy of a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, George P. Austin students will be the audience of jazz recording artist Eric Essix today.

“He does a live show with the band and he has done several CDs,” Austin’s school counselor Gwen Rogers said. “This is great because the kids in this area aren’t really exposed to the arts and this is a great opportunity for them to see it first hand.”

Rogers said she applied for the grant because the students don’t have music classes until they reach high school.

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“This will be the first time we applied for the grant and the first time we’ve had a concert of this magnitude,” Rogers said. “I plan to apply again and we hope to get a program that all our students will have the opportunity to enjoy.”

Essix, a jazz guitarist, and his band will play for middle school students, Linden’s fifth-graders, students in the high school’s music and drama classes and anyone in the community who’s interested in a free jazz concert.

“We invited the fifth-graders because they will be here next year and this is a chance for them to get oriented with the school and it lets them see what’s in store,” Rogers said. “The public is invited to come too, and it’s free to them. The Council paid for everything.”

Rogers said Austin’s principal, Terry Gosa, mentioned the concerts to the students in assembly.

“They seemed excited about it,” Rogers said. “It’s something new and they get excited about anything new.”

The concert will begin at 1 p.m. at George P. Austin School in Linden.