We are very fortunate and thankful to have Mr. Ravan Durr working with these groups. Mr. Durr completed a teaching career in the Cobb schools and is now retired. He is an amazing jazz saxophonist and a wonderful teacher. He brings a lot more expertise to our jazz groups than I ever could...my jazz experiences were not as extensive and I know that I am limited in what I can do with the jazz bands...not that they wouldn't be good...just that I could get them to a level comparable to a nice family car, while Mr. Durr can make them into a Ferrari!
This is the type of thing that we rely on PBPA and the parent community to support. Our fundraising efforts go largely into this kind of extra instruction. We could get by without it and still be OK...but who wants to settle for "OK"? One thing that struck me as I sat at Walton for 6 hours listening to the jazz bands from around the district perform...over half of our high school were not represented. Only a small handful of middle schools had groups present (shout out to Hightower & Dodgen who both had groups there!) Where were the rest? How many schools no longer support this area of musical development?
Closely following this thought was the thought that "if we can't fund it...how will we continue to have groups like we have now"? So my challenge to you is to keep supporting, keep fundraising, and keep attending the events...we need visible and physical support! This goes not only for jazz, but all of our performing groups. We want our kids to experience the best that we can offer...and it takes everyone's help.