Jazz musicians Connye Florance and Kevin Madill, who performed Nov. 9 at the CVIC Hall in Minden, also visited Sarah Holland and her "Tiger Choir" that afternoon at Carson Valley Middle School.
The program they presented to the students was about song writing and the relationship between words and music.
Jazz vocalist Florance and Jazz pianist Madill gave the students short poems by Langston Hughs, an African American poet of the Harlem Renassaince of the 1920s.
The musicians challenged the kids to, "find the music in the poetry." One group of students came up with their own lyrics which Florance and Madill set to music.
The students went to work and created the music. Madill described some of the melodies as being comparable to what's coming out of commercial music today.
The students sang their melodies to Madill and he improvised a piano accompaniment to match the lyrics and music. The entire class engaged in the creative process.
Florance commented, "The students were so supportive of each other."
The program was funded by an Arts in Education grant from the Nevada Arts Council, and is one of three such programs that will enhance the arts programs in Douglas County.
Additional programs in the schools involve Douglas High School's Madrigal Singers, who will perform in the Toccata Chorus and Orchestra's concert Dec. 7.
In addition, world musician Joe Craven will perform at Minden Elementary School on Jan. 11 prior to his performance with the Carson Valley Arts Council the same evening.
For information about these programs or to purchase tickets, visit www.cvartscouncil.com or call 782-8207.
The Carson Valley Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization; donations may be tax deductible as allowed by law. Federal Tax ID no. 84-1653859.