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August 1, 2014IM -
May was International Drum Month and an apt time to launch a collaboration between the Local 4 (Cleveland, OH) Music Fund and the Percussion Marketing Council (PMC). The Rainey Institute in downtown Cleveland provided the connection and venue for hosting the first two performances of four special presentations funded in-part through the PMC’s Percussion in the Schools program, supported by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation and the Music Performance Trust Fund.
Both May performances were customized for audiences from Case Elementary School, covering grades K-5 and 6-8, while combining educational performances by a professional jazz trio with a featured vocalist. Musical examples and discussion touched on musical styles from opera to gospel, jazz, and even Civil War folk tunes. Rainey Institute instructor and vocalist and Local 4 member Pat Harris worked closely with Rainey Institute Executive Director Lee Lazar, Local 4 President Leonard DiCosimo, and Cleveland-based PMC Director Karl Dustman, who is also a member of Local 4.
The Local 4 Music Fund, the nonprofit organization of Cleveland Federation of Musicians, is designed to work with educational organizations and foundations to introduce and expand musical knowledge, motivation, and enjoyment. Students in both classrooms and concert halls learn to appreciate and make music. PMC has a similar mission to create and provide hands-on educational opportunities to learn about and perform on percussion instruments. These goals were achieved through Dustman’s hands-on instruction. Students learned about and performed on unique percussion instruments—an ocean drum, rain stick, and jaw bone. There was even an eight-student vegetable shaker ensemble!
Over the course of the two-day performances, more than 300 Cleveland children attended their first jazz concert, while learning about percussion instruments and the role of the percussionist in musical ensembles. Students who volunteered each received their own egg shakers provided by Clevelander Drum Company and the PMC. Every student in attendance received a personal copy of the How to Play Drums instruction book and DVD, along with NAMM’s “Why Learn to Play Music” brochure for their parents. The one-hour concert and first percussion lesson ended with a special guest Bucket Drum Band performance and jam conducted through Rainey Institute’s percussion program.
“The Local 4 Music Fund has received significant contributions from philanthropic organizations over the past few years” said Local 4 President DiCosimo. “We are quite pleased with the positive responses to our grant writing program and intend to build on this success.”