Student Musicians Join Pros In East Hartford Concert Series
Posted on 01/31/2023
Intersections Concert Series

6th grade percussionist Amirah Parris got to play on stage with professional musicians this month as part of the Intersections Concert Series. The January 19th concert included performances by the East Hartford Middle School Global Jazz and Creative Music Ensemble, the East Hartford High School Jazz Band and professional improvised jazz ensemble Standards of Dysfunction. One special feature of each concert in the series is that one or two EHMS students get to step out of their student ensemble and perform live with the professionals.

I pull them aside for an individual improvisation lesson the week before the concert, but when they step on stage with the pros, they experience a type of in-the-moment learning that simply cannot be created in the classroom,” said EHMS Music and Band Teacher Dan O’Brien.

At December’s concert, 8th grade violist Sara Miranda and 7th grade percussionist Josyah Gionfriddo had this opportunity and rose to the challenge.

“When you play with people who are better than you, you figure out quickly how to hang in there and make choices that work. Then confidence starts to grow. All of a sudden you find yourself wanting to create more situations to play, get better, get your friends involved and organize your own gigs,” said O’Brien.

The concert series is free and open to the public bringing together not only musicians of all ages, but also members of the East Hartford community. Funding support is provided by the East Hartford Commission on Culture and Fine Arts and the East Hartford Alumni Association and Education Foundation.

O’Brien brought the idea of the concert series to East Hartford Library Director Sarah Kline Morgan last summer.

He said, “We immediately connected on the value of building a cross-generational community for East Hartford students and residents along with professional musicians and their audiences. What better way is there to show kids that their music-making can amount to something beyond our school walls than to bring them together with professionals who do just that?”.

There have been two concerts so far attended by more than 120 people. The next concert in the series will be held on Thursday, March 9th at 7:00 at the East Hartford Community Cultural Center.

View January’s concert below courtesy of EHHS Hornet Productions.