Progressions Begins the 2014/15 School Year

At the close of the Progressions 2014 summer session, the band kids were asked to return their instruments for cleaning and repair. Most did so with a sense of reluctance. Some were mysteriously absent on that last day and had to be tracked down. I understand–by August these kids had become very good friends with their instruments. As annoyed as I was at having to coordinate this extra effort, you can’t really blame the kids for not wanting to turn over something that to them represents, well, progress.

By now our returning students have been reunited with their instruments and our new band students have gotten a chance to experiment with getting a sound out of their instruments. And our younger kids are on the way to becoming singers.

Program logistics have mostly been ironed out, and the kids are settling into a routine. Our first weekend rehearsals are on the calendar, and we are once again discovering that the kids derive a sense of purpose from their affiliation with Progressions.

Phwew. We are officially up and running.

This fall Gary Ortega, Oscar Pangilinan and I make up the Progressions teaching staff. Gary and Oscar lead the instrument program for 4th, 5th and 6th grades and I work with the 2nd and 3rd grade vocal program. Tom Langan has also been indispensable with helping us acquire new, used and donated instruments and get inventory into the right hands at the right locations. By the way, we are still in need of instruments, in any condition. If you are able to donate one, contact us at instruments@sanjosejazz.org.

At San Jose Jazz’s Turn the Key fundraiser for our education programs at the Capital Club last weekend I was thrilled to share our work with a broader audience and introduce a just-completed video on Progressions. The video gives people who don’t know our work an opportunity to see the kids in their natural environment learning joyfully. For us the video is a big deal. We hope you check it out, at the top of this page.

Oscar, Gary and I look forward to sharing stories about our students and the program with you throughout the year!