Sometimes my work and personal lifes converge. That was absolutely the case over the weekend, as I made my way down to Chicago to catch my nephew playing saxophone and singing for VanderCook College of Music‘s annual pops concert and fundraising event.
It was a delightful night. As guests arrived, we were greeted with appetizers and bar service, while small ensembles took turns entertaining concert-goers in the gathering area (a silent auction was also occurring at this time). We heard from a flute choir, mariachi group, sax quartet, woodwind and jazz ensembles.
As the small ensemble and silent auction wrapped up, we were shifted into the main hall for dinner and the full concert. Orchestra, choirs, concert and jazz bands… All were quite well done, and picked excellent selections to fit with the Disco Fever theme.
I really enjoyed the use of the screen behind the stage, which showed very well-selected visuals throughout, often bringing to life original performances of the musicians whose music was being performed live by VanderCook students (Jackson 5, Earth, Wind & Fire, John Travolta, etc.).
We learned a lot about the mission of the college and success stories of VanderCook students – VanderCook being a school that focuses primarily on music education degrees and job placement.
All in all, it was a delightful evening. The students – including but not limited to my nephew Brandon – were extremely enjoyable and engaging performers. The future of music education is bright. Let’s keep ensuring that schools continue to value the arts, making room for these great young music educators-to-be to prosper.