On Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 16, 2023) the DHS Jazz Choir held a special workshop at the Davis High School campus. The 15 Jazz Choir students hosted over 70 Kindergarten-9th grade students from the Davis area and filled the morning teaching them song and choreographed dance routines.
The event was largely student-led, with choreography by Jeff Teague, and support from Choir Director Amanda Bistolfo and a small cadre of parent volunteers. Over the course of the morning, students were observed laughing, having fun singing and dancing, and trying something new. In addition, kids met potential new friends across grades and schools, and were introduced to the high school choral music program. The Jazz Choir students worked hard to ensure that everyone felt encouraged and that they left with increased confidence.
The morning workshop culminated in a mini performance for families of participants onstage at the Richard Brunelle Performance Hall. For many of the children, this was their first experience being on the stage of a big theater. During the performance, kids and parents were seen waving proudly across the auditorium and the audience was supportive with their applause.
In addition to providing a fun and active morning for schoolkids on a no-school holiday and meeting the choir’s goal of fundraising for one full student scholarship for the choir’s spring New York City trip, followup survey results indicated the event met the additional goals of inclusivity / accessibility and outreach for the high school choral music program.
Following the workshop, Jazz Choir students and parents had mostly enthusiastic reviews of the experience. One Jazz Choir student commented, “It was super fun and rewarding!! A great learning experience for everyone involved.” Another Jazz Choir student reflected, “I had lots of fun. It was so heartwarming to see little kids who were really interested and happy to be there.” A parent from a participating family praised the event, “This was such a wonderful program! My 7 year old said he would do theater every day if he could, which was so great to hear. Thank you so much for putting the work in to organize and make this possible for so many kids.” Another parent noted, “My son was shy on stage but he was in a super happy mood at home and continued to practice some of the dance moves. Kudos to all the volunteers for allowing the kiddos to have this experience!”
Tickets to the workshop sold out fast and registration was closed on Friday the 13th.
We hope to make this an annual event! Please keep an eye on our events calendar, and join us at an upcoming performance!