Ron Carter made is annual trip to Sun Prairie and mentored students in the Sun Prairie Jazz Program. Spending time with the CHUMS Jazz Band, as well as Sun Prairie Jazz I and II and working on the fundamentals of Swing. Professor Carter challenge students to play more emotionally and dig deeper and deeper into the rich history and tradition of this music.
Students responded really well to his passion and saw immediate growth in their playing. We are fortunate to have Ron stop out and continue to work with our groups on a yearly basis. His long-standing friendship with the Sun Prairie Jazz Program continues to help our students grow.
Reggie Thomas and Rick Haydon visited us in rehearsal to provide a jump start to the school year and ignite some passion in music. Both talked about what brought them into music and how they keep that spark going to this day. Rick took the guitars out for a master class in rhythm-style guitar playing in a big band. Reggie worked with the rest of the band on basic swing concepts as well as providing some twists in our warm-up.
Both Reggie and Rick have been mentors and friends to this program for many years. Having them back to work with students felt really meaningful for students. They bring a passion and earnestness to the students that challenges them to engage into this music on deeper and deeper levels.