American Music Program

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The American Music Program (née Pacific Crest Sinfonietta, Cultural Recreation Band) is a youth jazz band in Portland, Oregon founded by jazz trumpeter, composer, and educator Thara Memory. This non-profit youth music program mentors primary school students from 7th-12th grade. On May 9, 2015, the group won Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington Competition, playing Ellington's Tattooed Bride from memory.[1]

History[edit]

Under the direction of Thara Memory, Greg McKelvey, and Ronnye Harrison the Cultural Recreation Band was founded in 1983. This multicultural performing orchestra served inner city youth primarily in Portland, Oregon's Albina District. Students in the program competed in state and regional jazz band competitions.

Expanding its reach throughout Portland's metropolitan area suburbs, the non-profit 501(c)3 Pacific Crest Sinfonietta was founded by Thara Memory and LeAnn Kritz in 2005. Students in the group came from Beaverton's Arts and Communications Magnet Academy as well as Portland's Metropolitan Youth Symphony. The program has since enrolled middle school and high school students throughout the greater Portland metropolitan area.[2]

Changing its name to American Music Program, the band has performed in competitions across the country, including the Essentially Ellington Competition at Lincoln Center,[3][4][5][6] the Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey,[7][8][9][10][11] the Charles Mingus Festival and Competition,[12][13] Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Swing Central at the Savannah Music Festival, and locally at events such as the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival and the PDX Jazz Forward Competition.[14]

American Music Program students have performed with musicians such as Obo Addy,[15] Bennie Maupin,[16] Chuck Redd, Curtis Salgado,[17] Esperanza Spalding,[18] Terell Stafford, and Randy Weston.[19]

Notable achievements and alumni[edit]

Upon high school graduation, AMP alumni have attended colleges such as The Juilliard School,[20][21] Berklee College of Music,[22][23] Manhattan School of Music, The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, USC Thornton School of Music,[24][25] California Institute for the Arts, Oberlin College Conservatory, among others.[26] Students in the band have been selected for the Jazz Band of America, The Grammy Band,[27] and The Monterey Next Generation Jazz Band.[28][29] Youth members have received scholarships to attend the Berklee College of Music's summer programming and the Vail Jazz Workshop.[30] Students in the band have participated in the Metropolitan Youth Symphony, Portland Youth Philharmonic, PDX Jazz Project, and Alan Jones Academy of Music.

American Music Program Alumni include Esperanza Spalding, Domo Branch, Charlie Brown III, Hailey Niswanger,[31] Aubrey Cleland,[32] and Patrick Lamb.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "U.S. News - National News". ABC News. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-14. Retrieved 2015-04-25.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Jazz at Lincoln Center announces 15 Finalists for the 2015 Essentially Ellington Competition". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Jazz at Lincoln Center announces 2013 Essentially Ellington Finalists". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Winners of 16th Annual Essentially Ellington Competition 2011". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  6. ^ "JALC Announces Winners of 14Th Annual Essentially Ellington". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Oregon Music News - Oregon's only all-genre, online music magazine covers music news and events in Portland and throughout the state". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  8. ^ "2015 Next Generation Jazz Festival Results - 59th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  9. ^ "2014 Next Generation Jazz Festival Results - 59th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Congratulations to the 2013 Next Generation Jazz Festival Top Groups! - 59th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Monterey Jazz Festival Announces Next Generation Jazz Festival Results - 59th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  12. ^ "2015 7th Annual Mingus Festival & Competition Highlights - Charles Mingus: The Official Site". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  13. ^ "2014 6th Annual Mingus Festival & Competition Highlights - Charles Mingus: The Official Site". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  14. ^ Forward, PDX Jazz. "PDX Jazz Forward - Music. Moving". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Musical Reunion". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  16. ^ "Oregon Music News - Oregon's only all-genre, online music magazine covers music news and events in Portland and throughout the state". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  17. ^ AMPJazz (25 April 2010). "Curtis Salgado with Pacific Crest American Music Program Jazz Orchestra". Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 12 July 2016 – via YouTube.
  18. ^ "Oregon Music News - Oregon's only all-genre, online music magazine covers music news and events in Portland and throughout the state". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  19. ^ "Error 404 - Portland Monthly". Archived from the original on 26 April 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  20. ^ "Cannon Beach teen Lake Jiroudek heads to Juilliard with a jazz guitar". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  21. ^ Sadowsky, Dan. "Grammy Winner Esperanza Spalding Headlines Benefit Concert For Jazz Education". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  22. ^ "VIDEO: Presidential Scholar Kama Bell - Berklee College of Music". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  23. ^ Berklee College of Music (2 July 2012). "Kama Bell: Berklee College of Music 2011 Presidential Scholar". Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 12 July 2016 – via YouTube.
  24. ^ "Ted Case - Catlin Gabel School". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  25. ^ "Aaron Reihs - Gresham-Barlow Web Academy". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  26. ^ "Alumni". 26 September 2012. Archived from the original on 25 March 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  27. ^ "West Linn sax player, 17, will tour with Grammy band, open for Mel Brown Septet". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  28. ^ "2010 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra - 59th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  29. ^ "2013 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra - 59th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  30. ^ "VAIL JAZZ - Vail Jazz". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  31. ^ "Bio". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  32. ^ AMPJazz (30 January 2010). "AMP @ Clark College Jazz Festival 2010: Part 1: A Tisket a Tasket". Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 12 July 2016 – via YouTube.

External links[edit]