A Louisiana Masterclass
NOCCA Jazz presents at the Governor’s Mansion In Baton Rouge
First Lady Donna Edwards and NOCCA Host A Louisiana Jazz Masterclass
First Lady Donna Edwards joined New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) and the Louisiana First Foundation in hosting the first Louisiana Masterclass as part of her Teach MAM (Music, Arts and Movement) Initiative at the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion.
Students and faculty from NOCCA, Woodlawn High School and McKinley High School became a jazz ensemble for the collaborative masterclass. NOCCA faculty and alumni, Wendell Brunious, Miles Labat, Khari Lee, Jasen Weaver and NOCCA Music Department Chair Michael Pellera led the students to work beyond the sheet music through listening and discussions as a working example of the power of arts education for the youth of our great state.
“It was so exciting to see this idea go from concept to reality and to hear the student musicians fill the mansion with their incredible sounds was truly remarkable,” said First Lady Donna Edwards. “As a former music teacher, I know the multiple ways in which students can benefit from arts education in school and in life. Music is something that everyone can relate to and Louisiana is blessed to have an abundance of talented musicians. It is not only a creative outlet but it is part of our growing economy and to be able to encourage students to pursue of their dreams and goals but also teach them about how this is a viable profession is something I am extremely proud to do. Today was just the beginning, and I look forward to shining the spotlight on other art forms as well.”
Through this jazz ensemble students learned the importance of being a proficient jazz performer and a well-educated and literate musician. Scales, chord vocabulary, and fundamental stylistic elements were taught during this class with curriculum focused on problem solving, listening and working together to accomplish a goal.
“It is a pleasure and privilege to partner with First Lady Donna Edwards in the advancement of arts education,” stated NOCCA President | CEO Kyle Wedberg. “What better way than turning the Governor’s Mansion into the First Classroom, even for a day, to give a group of students and educators the opportunity to share and grow in the arts.”
During the school year, NOCCA offers students from across the state tuition-free arts instruction in Culinary Arts, Creative Writing, Dance, Media Arts (Filmmaking and Audio Production), Music, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts, and academics. NOCCA was created to bring together the best teaching artists and talented students in the arts to help raise the bar in educational standards and expectations.
About The Louisiana First Foundation
The Louisiana First Foundation, created by First Lady Donna Edwards in 2016, serves as a launching pad for programs that focus on educating the “whole child” through Teach MAM (Music, Art and Movement), advocating against human trafficking and providing greater resources to the state’s foster children and parents. It also includes Virtual Visits with the First Lady, which enables her to interact with students in every corner of the state, No Kid Hungry Louisiana Campaign and Breakfast Challenge to help end childhood hunger in Louisiana, Bandit’s Book Challenge to encourage students to read more books and Louisiana Fosters, a state-wide campaign linking government, non-profits, businesses and faith based organizations to build a supportive network for the state’s foster children and foster and birth parents. To find out more visit LouisianaFirstFoundation.com.