Staff from North Community High School and LoveWorks Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, all of whom are graduates of HBCUs, created a two-week camp where students can play instruments, learn discipline, and dance in the high-energy, marching band style common at HBCUs.
The program will culminate in a presentation for family and friends at North Community High School.
Camp organizers said the idea came after seeing a gap in opportunity for students and wanting to fill it.
“We hope that we’re igniting the fire that will give them a tool to be able to take their lives from where they currently are to wherever they want to go,” said Arthur Turner III, executive director of LoveWorks Academy and an alum of Shaw University.
Music teacher D’Shonte Carter, a music teacher at LoveWorks Academy, hopes the camp and its final performance will lead to funding for arts programs for the entire year.
The students “learn this for two weeks and then in reality they don’t continue to learn during the school year,”said Carter. “And there’s obviously a thirst for that. They want to do this. So do families. So my hope is that we as a state and as a city, continue to provide these opportunities to students.”
Turner hopes students will see marching band as a path to scholarships, college and other career opportunities.
“Kids fall in love with sports because you hear about the million-dollar contracts,” Turner added. “They don’t realize that you can be a principal musician for the orchestra and make pretty good money.”