Live concerts have been sorely missed this past year, but thousands of PCPS students were able to enjoy a special performance in their classrooms last week.
“6th & Jazz: Let Freedom Ring,” an annual concert by Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, was made available as a virtual experience this year.
An estimated 25,000 students from six Central Florida school districts — including 3,500 students from about 30 PCPS schools — were able to watch the program online.
“Let Freedom Ring” features compositions by jazz artists who participated in the civil rights movement and shows how their works were tied to specific historic events. The concert is presented in memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. and features the music of artists such as Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus and Duke Ellington.
“There’s no substitute for live music, but if you can reach more kids virtually, sometimes that’s worth the tradeoff,” said Chuck Fulton, a resource specialist and instrumental music coach for PCPS.
“These kinds of performances remind our kids that music is part of the social fabric, and it was part of the change of the civil rights movement,” Fulton said. “It’s important to see … folks changing the world and using their words and music in a positive and creative way. Somebody will grow from this.”
(Main photo: students viewing “Let Freedom Ring” at Bartow Middle)