For the second year in a row, the Philly POPS presented the School District of Philadelphia’s All-City Jazz Festival which showcases the best jazz combos at Philadelphia’s public high schools. This year’s event was held at Temple University’s Performing Arts Center on International Jazz Day, April 30, 2016.
Participating schools: The Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush, Central High School, Franklin Learning Center, George Washington High School, Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School, Northeast High School, The Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) and The Community Music Scholars Program (CMSP) at Temple University’s Boyer College of and Music and Dance. Also featured at the festival was the All-City Jazz Orchestra – the audition-only ensemble composed of the most talented jazz students in the district, conducted by Terell Stafford, Director of Jazz Studies at the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University. Special guest soloist Dick Oatts, a professor of Jazz Studies at Temple University, joined the All-City Jazz Orchestra for two pieces.
In a school system that has seen cutbacks in arts programs over the past decade, POPS in Schools brings professional POPS musicians and guest artists directly into School District of Philadelphia classrooms. Highlights this year include professional coaching and Master Classes on jazz improv techniques and popular music theory for all students in the All-City Jazz program. POPS in Schools provided access tickets to POPS performances for more than 1,000 students, faculty, and staff this season, in addition to inviting participating schools to perform before POPS shows. POPS in Schools also initiated the commissioning of new charts to provide increased accessibility to pop music and the catalogue of the Sound of Philadelphia, made available digitally, to all schools.
POPS in Schools is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Philadelphia Energy Solutions, which has recently renewed its commitment for a second year.