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The James Williams Jazz Series
& Scholarship Fund
Each season the “We Always Swing” Jazz Series looks to compliment its concert schedule by offering a series of educationally based activities. The Jazz Series chose to name the education program after the late James Williams, who was not only a beloved and well-respected pianist, performer and composer but also someone who thrived in the jazz education arena.
Jazz Series Educational Component
• Artists-in-Residence. Each season the Jazz Series selects an artist or an entire group to spend multiple days in our community during which time they work directly with students, K-12 and as well as with older students of college/university age both in educational and performance settings. Additionally, the Artists-in-Residence will interact with the community at large presenting a “public forum” on some aspect of jazz.
• Jazz Series Jazz Camp Scholarship Fund.
Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013
In 2005 the “We Always Swing” Jazz Series established the region's ONLY jazz-oriented scholarship designed to assist aspiring students — junior high school through college age — to further pursue and enhance their skills by undertaking an week-long intensive during the summer at a jazz camp. The scholarship application is competitive and guidelines are made available through the Jazz Series each February 1. A committee of area jazz educators under the direction of Dr. Arthur White, Director of Jazz Studies at University of Missouri. Each year since 2005 the Jazz Series has offered a select number of gifted and aspiring jazz students the opportunity to participate in an intensive week of study during the summer. The students work with professionals and interact with peers from all over the country. The scholarships, which range from $300 to $500 each, remain the only jazz-specific opportunity offered to Columbia students. Each award covers the majority of the cost of the camps. At present, the Jazz Series works with two distinct jazz camps: under the auspices of Bobby Watson and the other, the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Camp, which employs the University of Louisville as its home base. Currently the Jazz Series offers five (5) separate scholarships.
• “Jazz in the Schools” Initiative. This innovative and ambitious program continues to infuse jazz-oriented activities into the Columbia Public School District on a school-by-school basis. Working with the Columbia Public School's Community Program, the Initiative serves as three-way collaboration between individual schools, K-12, their respective Partner(s) in Education (PIE) and the Jazz Series, which administrates the program. Through the generosity of individual PIEs, which underwrite the cost of up to three activities in an academic year at any one school, the Jazz Series, working with administrators and music specialists, organizes in-school activities such as concert performances, hands-on programs and lecture-demonstrations. With the support of the PIE partners, the “Jazz in the Schools” Initiative, which began in 2007, continues to grow.
• Annual Children's Concert. One of our most popular endeavors, the Annual Children's Concert offers each of the city's elementary schools the opportunity to send their students to experience communal jazz “informance.” For many of the students this is their first impression of and experience with jazz.