Park City Jazz Foundation supports PC school music programs


The Park City Jazz Foundation is partnering with the Park City Education Foundation to strengthen music outreach programs in the Park City School District.
The proposed program targets 5
th and 6th grade instrumental music students and the new Park City Honors Band program. The PCSD Honors Band Outreach Program will provide additional support in the form of clinicians who will work with Honor Band students. By receiving instruction from a specialist on their own instrument, young students will have a significant advantage in the development of their music skills.

The program will be directed by long time PC Jazz Foundation Education Director, Caleb Chapman. Chapman, one of the leading music educators in the nation, identified a need at the entry level instrumental classes. “The early stages of learning music are the most critical,” Chapman said. “The challenge is that at that level it takes some real one on one time to get students on the right track. A public school music teacher assigned to handle upwards of 90 to 100 students at a time simply can’t do it alone. That’s were we felt we could really make a difference.”

Working with Park City School District Music Director Chris Taylor, Chapman and program instructor Peter Werner identified several music specialists that could come on a regular basis throughout the school year and tutor students. “We are bringing in specialists on trumpet, percussion, saxophone, clarinet and flute to work with Park City music students. When the kids get individual attention, we really see a tremendous improvement when they get back together as an ensemble”, said Chapman.  Funded by the Park City Jazz Foundation, the specialists will come on a weekly basis and work with Chris Taylor and Peter Werner at the various Park City schools.

The Academic Standards, established by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for Humanities, have identified the arts as a core academic subject, as important to education as English, mathematics, history, science and foreign language. Research shows the music education enhances higher brain function, improves reading and math performance, and develops teamwork, cooperation and decisive thinking. Yet, with increasingly common budget deficits, this part of the educational kaleidoscope has too often, and wrongly, been treated as optional. The Park City Jazz Foundation in partnership with the Park City Education Foundation and the Park City School District has chosen to make a difference.

Park City Jazz Foundation Executive Director Kris Severson worked closely with the Park City Education Foundation to make the program a reality. “I am grateful to Abby McNulty and Monika Guendner of the Park City Education Foundation. They really helped me navigate through the school district rules and requirements to make this happen.” Severson said. “They have the knowledge and insight into how to get things done in the schools and were very supportive of this proposal. I am very proud of how all three organizations came together to improve the musical education of our students.”

Chapman believes these students will progress quickly. “I am confident that the positive impact of this program will be evident very quickly. Park City is already recognized for its high quality school music programs, but Mr. Taylor, Mr. Werner, and we at the Jazz Foundation all believe this will help propel those programs to a new level. 

To learn more about the Park City Jazz Foundation or any of its programs call Kris Severson at 435-940-1362. Support for this an all other PCJF events and programs are welcome.

The Park City Jazz Foundation is a 501 c ( 3 ) not-for-profit organization located in Park City, Utah, that is committed to the musical education of our youth as well as a heightened public awareness to jazz music.