Booker T. Washington High School was one of 10 schools nationwide - and one of five schools in Oklahoma - selected to provide free concerts and workshops by the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz.
The concert and workshops featured internationally acclaimed jazz recording artist Steve Wilson and jazz and blues vocalist Lisa Henry.
The Peer-to-Peer jazz education program (https://hancockinstitute.org/tag/peer-to-peer/) was held at McLain High School on February 26. McLain’s Choir was also selected as one of the 10 schools nationwide to receive the "informance."
Students packed the auditorium and watched the concert in admiration. One of McLain’s choir students was even honored and invited to join Lisa Henry in signing the blues.
Dr. J.B. Dyas, a leader in jazz education and currently vice president for Education and Curriculum Development at the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz, then gave the crowd a history lesson on jazz.
After the concert, Booker T. Washington's jazz band students had a chance to groove with and learn from Steve Wilson, who spent more than two hours teaching them practice techniques.
“He is an internationally known clinician, but he got right down to business with our high school musicians. He was also a great teacher. He was very thorough. Everyone in the band got some attention in one way or another," said Robert Reck, jazz band director. "All-in-all, we played two selections for him and got some great coaching that helped us raise our level of performance. We really appreciated the opportunity to hear some great playing and have a great educational experience as well.”
The students enjoyed themselves and will remember this moment forever.