Looking back on 2009-10

JoAnn Diaferio has faced, in the last two years, the challenge of trying to fit in as many schools as we possibly can.  As we approach the end of a school year we are being inundated with applications from new schools who have heard about us through other friends who are presumably teachers who have enjoyed a trip to Jazz Standard. Besides funding for extra programs we have seen months where the number of programs increased from one per week to two per week. JoAnn has faced last minute cancellations due to protest marches as one example, while she has also had to deal with schools sending close to 100 kids when they said they were bring 60, and often without a balanced number of chaperones. JoAnn always made it work no matter what challenge faced her. JoAnn has added some new clinicians to the roster of talent for the JSDP making sure that repeat schools get a fresh experience each year.

Meanwhile, our Youth Orchestra program is responding to the needs of young people for an outlet for their talent and enthusiasm. On a recent professional Big Band performance David OʼRourke had an alumnus of the JSYO in the trombone section, Jake Handleman who has recently graduated from Indiana University. Jake impressed the three ʻseasonedʼ ʻbone players in his section, one of whom played with Duke Ellingtonʼs band. During his time in IU, Jake was delighted to be hired by none other than Aretha Franklin! We are now at the stage where past members are either graduating or in the middle of post graduate studies. A good deal of involvement by us is necessary when it comes to career and college counseling for the seniors while getting a camp for our kids to attend is a priority with all other students.