Grand Vision’s Recorders in Schools Students Bring Their Music to San Pedro’s First Thursday Artwalk!

First Thursday Artwalk in San Pedro is a celebration of art, music, food and community. The art galleries are open, there’s Taiko drumming in front of the Grand Annex, DJ tunes bounce out of JDC Records, kids are playing at the Feed & be Fed Garden, spray can creativity flows out of Machin Studios, restaurants are full and food trucks line the streets with their unique offerings.

Rising above the cacophony of First Thursday on May 2, 2019, were the sweet sounds of the community’s newest musicians, who took to the stage at the corner of 6th & Mesa Streets and proudly demonstrated their musical skills and talent, adding an extra sparkle to this month’s Artwalk.

The young musicians were 13 fifth grade students from Cabrillo Ave, Leland St, and Pt. Fermin Elementary Schools in San Pedro and Hawaiian Ave and Harry Bridges Span School in Wilmington. The group has learned to play the recorder and read music through Meet the Music**, Grand Vision’s in-school education program, which brings weekly recorder lessons to all fifth graders at eight LAUSD schools in the LA Harbor Area, and a semester of weekly music lessons to all fourth graders.

For the First Thursday Community Youth Performance, students volunteered to participate, knowing that they would be playing with kids from other schools and working with a music teacher who might not be their usual instructor. With one rehearsal as a group, the ensemble presented classic beginner tunes Aura Lee and Ode to Joy as well as more advanced songs: De Colores, The Snake Charmer and The Star Spangled Banner.

Congratulations to the Community Youth Recorder Players, a Grand Thank You to their parents, our three Recorder Teaching Artists: Andrea Dowdell, Sukari Reid-Glenn, and Dr. Dawn Norfleet and to our major Meet the Music sponsors: Crail-Johnson Foundation, California Community Foundation, California Arts Council, Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, the Norris Foundation, and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

**Meet the Music, Grand Vision’s free music education program for over 1,600 L.A. Harbor area LAUSD students, includes in-school recorder lessons and live concerts at the Grand Annex and the Warner Grand Theatre. Students learn music basics and how to read music and perform together. Meet the Music engages youth with the arts, improves academic achievement and shows students that practice leads to success.