VanderCook College of Music to Celebrate and Benefit One City Program at Sounds of Bronzeville

Mike Lawson • News • June 4, 2019

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On June 21, VanderCook College of Music will be holding a fundraising event titled Sounds of Bronzeville.

The event’s purpose is to benefit and celebrate the school’s One City program, a jazz-based instrumental music outreach program that serves children grades 5-8 from Bronzeville and surrounding South side neighborhoods. In order for the program to continue being free of cost for its students, Sounds of Bronzeville provides members of the community an opportunity to donate and help reduce the financial burden to learning music that so many face.

One City’s purpose is to bring music to children who otherwise may never get the chance to learn and play it. By offering free music lessons, rehearsals, and instruments One City opens up a new world of possibilities for these students. They are taught by dedicated VanderCook professors Dr. Leah Schuman and Anthony Kidonakis, as well as by collegiate teaching assistants who are studying to become music educators. One City students are also offered the opportunity to learn under some of today’s finest musicians such as Rex Richardson, Yamaha Performing artist and trumpeter extraordinaire.

Once students have graduated from the One City program, they are given the option of keeping instruments they learned, so that they might continue their musical careers in high school. They also leave the program with other skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

“One City also teaches and assess students on what we call ‘skills for success,’” said Dr. Schuman, director of One City and Applied Trumpet. “These include attendance and punctuality, leadership, creativity, teamwork, ability to stay on task, perseverance, and consistent effort. Mr. Kidonakis often asks the students to call out One City’s ‘Three P’s,’ which are practice, perseverance, and patience.”

  “One of the important take-aways from One City is that despite all the news about violence on Chicago’s South side, the reality is that acts of kindness, sharing, support and teamwork happen every day in our neighborhoods,” Dr. Schuman added. “Music can bring together people from all different backgrounds, ages, and levels of experience. Young people like the One City students have as much to teach adults about curiosity, hope, and enthusiasm as the adults have to offer them in terms of musical skills and technique.”

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