Jazz Artists of Charleston (JAC) and the Leonard School of Music are joining forces to take youth music education to a higher level while making it more accessible to students of all socio-economic groups.
“One of the best ways to keep an art form alive and relevant, is to devote time and resources to educating youth,” said Mary Beth Natarajan, Executive Director at Jazz Artists of Charleston. “The merging of the Leonard School of Music with Jazz Artists of Charleston plays an integral role in our mission of keeping jazz alive and thriving by developing young musicians and young audiences.”
The Leonard School of Music has been a part of the lives of families in the Charleston area for the last 75 years by providing music training for students of every type of socio-economic background.
“We realize that many children don’t have access to music education and can’t afford after-school training, so our new education programming will include scholarships to help at-risk youth gain access to training they wouldn’t otherwise receive,” said Matt Pardieck, Chairman of Jazz Artists of Charleston.
As a result of the merger, Leonard School students will continue to receive high quality music education and performance opportunities while having access to exciting new programming from some of Charleston’s most experienced and innovative music leaders.
The merger also means students will receive complimentary tickets to Charleston Jazz Orchestra (CJO) performances and have access to visiting artist workshops and other educational events presented by Jazz Artists of Charleston throughout the year.
“We are thrilled to be part of the Jazz Artists of Charleston organization,” said Bill McSweeney, Chairman of the Leonard School of Music. “Many of the accomplished jazz musicians who perform with the CJO have either studied or taught at our school over the years. Together we are deeply committed to connecting with today’s youth through innovative music education that has the power to uplift and enrich the lives of young people.”
Editor's Note: This is an unedited press release