Did You Ever Want to Play or Sing in a Band?
If you’ve ever played an instrument, either on your own or ”jammed” with other players, participated in an open mic, or maybe you’ve sung in a choir, in your shower or had fun in a kareoke setting, or perhaps you’ve wanted to try playing percussion or harmonica… This opportunity is for you! Everyone will learn and play songs together with no stress and no public audience – just for the sheer fun of it!
In March of 2013 The Center for the Arts is launching Community Music Jam!, a FREE open session music program. Offering ten weekly sessions where local professional musicians will mentor participants, ages 16 and up, in playing keyboards, guitars, percussion and vocals within an informal band setting. Each session features a different ”classic old school” song (country, blues, rock, folk, pop, etc.), which will be learned and played together as a group with rhythm parts, solos, vocals, etc. Music equipment and some instruments will be provided. Participants are encouraged to bring their own instrument if they have one.
These fun and interactive sessions are for people who have at least a basic knowledge of an instrument, but no prior experience is needed if you want to sing or play percussion. This is a chance to experience the joy of playing and making music with a group, to develop new connections with like minded folks, hang out with pros, and just have a good time! Leading these structured “jam sessions” is a team of local professional musicians: Lorraine Gervais (program coordinator), Kelly Fleming, Tony Unger, Craig Thomas and Ty Smith. They all have years of professional experience performing both locally and nationally in many different music genres and venues.
The program is funded by an exploring engagement grant from the James Irvine Foundation and is designed for those who cannot afford music classes or workshops, the purchase of instruments, attendance at venue performances or otherwise being engaged in the expression of music and performance due to financial constraints. We encourage everyone who might be in these categories to apply! The Center will also be partnering with Nevada County agencies and other non-profit organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Bitney Prep High School, Gold Country Community Center, Hospitality House, NEO, etc., to recommend their eligible participants for the program. If you are an organization that serves those qualifying for Community Music Jam and are interested in becoming one of our partner agencies please contact The Center.
Registration forms are available at The Center for the Arts in downtown Grass Valley and also online at www.thecenterforthearts.org to download and print. For planning purposes, we ask that the registration forms be dropped off at The Center before you attend, but drop-ins are welcome at each of the weekly sessions. Two 10-week programs with a maximum of 60 participants at each session will be held for the initial two years of Community Music Jam. In the first year, sessions will be held at The Center, and in the second year the program will be taken to community centers, and other neighborhood facilities.
The Center’s primary goal is to build community through the arts; we believe that the arts are fundamental and that every person should have access. The reality is that for many in our county engaging in the arts is either beyond their economic reach or intimidating to take that first step. By offering programs that are accessible, free and fun, we hope to engage those who have not had exposure to the creative process. Therefore, our focus is on providing new programs in the arts for the under – served, and for those who are not traditionally coming to an arts center.
While the program is partially funded with a grant from the James Irvine Foundation, with additional funding from the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation of the Jewish Community Fund and Pacific Gas and Electric Company, we are actively reaching out to potential donors to offset the expenses needed to fill the balance of $30,000 needed to bring this exciting program to our community. If you are interested is supporting Community Music Jam!, please contact Julie Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org
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