“It has been incredible to see what has blossomed at Cameron through the Jazz in the Schools project and I couldn’t be more thrilled for what has taken place. Our students are having unique, stimulating, and life changing musical experiences and the credit does not go to me, but to people like you and Mike who are investing heavily in our program. Thank you to you and Mike for all of your work.”

-Josh Hill, Head of Music, Cameron Heights Collegiate, Kitchener

“Many thanks to both you and Mike! You inspired our students to such beautiful performances! Thank you for giving of your time and talent to mentor our jazz vocalists. It was so nice to showcase them and the work you’ve been doing with them. We all have wonderful musical mentors that have been a big part of our own inspiration and have influenced our current work. So cool that we can innovate and be part of a team together that can do the same for others!”

-Megan Brenneman, Vocal Music Teacher, Cameron Heights Collegiate

“The Jazz in the Schools program was my favourite extra-curricular group during semester one and has helped my singing and confidence immensely! I was very shy before I joined this amazing group and MC [Mary-Catherine] has helped me feel confident with my voice and helped me relax during performance and really feel and connect to my song. A major improvement on my jazz style has happened in the short semester and MC was great at teaching and giving tips and motivation. Scatting was my favourite technique I learned, which is super fun, and a very scary thing to do, but I feel confident with it after semester one. The performance at The Jazz Room was an unforgettable experience for me and my family loved it; it was my favourite performance of the term. Jazz in the Schools is an amazing program to help teach jazz style and technique and allow kids to explore their voices in a one on one way and also build confidence.”
-Sophie Weiss, Grade 10

“Jazz in the Schools is a fabulous opportunity that has developed not only my singing ability and my understanding of music, but also who I am as a person. Through the weekly jazz sessions I have learned effective jazz vocal techniques like vowel shaping, dynamic contrast, and mic techniques. Then, through performances I’ve learned to embrace the audience, and make them a part of my music. I’ve learned to let go of my performance anxiety and get into the song so I not only can make a great sound, but savour it. One moment I will remember forever was when I sang the song “Cry Me a River” for our Christmas concert. There were a couple hundred people in the audience, and I was terrified, but my name was on the schedule, so I had to get over my fear and sing my song. When I got up to sing, the techniques I had learned and the confidence I had built fell into place. I learned in that moment that I had done all the hard-work and practice I could, and the only thing I could let myself do was lay back in the song, and enjoy every second of the ride. I found ways to hook the audience, and embrace my inner-sass whenever possible. Also, I get to work through different jazz songs and styles with the small jazz band, another part of the Jazz in the Schools program which I really enjoy. It is both challenging, to try and get the right tempo and in the right style, and exciting, to have a group of amazingly talented musicians my own age, working with me to produce a fabulous song. I will never forget my experience in the Jazz in the Schools program, and I know that I will forever be using the skills and lessons I learned in the program for my singing and daily life.”
-Abigael Martin, Grade 10

“I love my experience in the Jazz in the Schools program, and our Thursday afternoon rehearsals remain one of the highlights of every week. The entire process of preparing our pieces, learning performance etiquette like mic technique and how to cue the band, and then finally getting to showcase the fruits of our labour on the stage, is thrilling. I knew I wanted to study music in university, and the experiences that this program has given us students, has only reinforced my belief that I want to dedicate the rest of my life to creating and sharing music.”
-Viet Ho, Grade 12

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