[Dixielandjazz] Suffer the children (was: Stockton, Modesto, Sacramento Sunday Jazz)

Nancy Giffin nancyink at ulink.net
Tue Mar 23 01:10:29 PST 2004

"Margaret Squires" <margeaux at inreach.com> wrote:
[edited from 3-23-04 post]
<<   "... Wish me luck!  As music director for our club, this was my idea.
I'm already hearing a few grumblings about having a bunch of kids play.
And I'm afraid a lot of people will stay away because of it.
Well, my philosophy is that if somebody complains enough,
they can become music director! ..."   >>

Hi Margaret and everyone,

In Sacramento, beginning this month, the STJS is now dedicated to featuring
one youth band at each of our monthly meetings. I help back posting on this
because I thought Paul Edgerton would be commenting on it. His wife, Polly
Edgerton, is on the STJS Education Committee that came up with the idea. The
Jazz Miners from Silverado Middle School, under Polly's direction, was our
"inaugural" band for this program. It turned out great! After their initial
performance, six of the kids joined in a jam session with some of the older
veterans, much to the delight of everyone there -- especially the parents in
the audience. Kymmi Smith can also tell more about it. Polly submitted a
classic photo of this multi-generational jam session, and I was so pleased
by it that I gave this month's STJS newsletter a kind of "passing the torch"
theme. (STJS members will be receiving their copy in about three weeks.) In
addition to printing the photo and writing about the Jazz Miners, I included
a "letter to the editor" I received from Jan Stiers, one of the moms of the
original Jazz Minors, the youth band that was employed by Disney and also
toured the country (and included a teenage John Allred!). There's also an
article by Jim Beebe called "A Lesson with Jack Teagarden (Almost)" and
another article from Burt Wilson, complete with photo, about his 1949 High
School band that still exists, in part, as the Silver Dollar JB. Go, Burt!

I just wanted to focus on a topic I've seen discussed many times over the
past few years on the DJML: We need to welcome, include, encourage, and
nurture the younger players because they are the future of this music. Any
musician who ever benefited from a musical mentor owes it to that mentor to
pass along the same good vibes and valuable lessons they've learned along
the way.

Margaret, if there are those who lack your foresight and vision, well... I
feel sorry for them. You can't worry about them. You're doing a great thing,
and I applaud your efforts and enthusiasm. You go, girl! BTW: It was a
pleasure meeting you and hanging out with you at the last Rent Party in
Sacto. Let's do it again! See you at the Jubilee if not sooner. : )

Love and hugs,

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