Tunes from Jazz to Meringue were heard in the Stubb’s Amphitheater on Sunday, May 16, as students from 12 different schools in the Austin area participated in the 11th Annual Student/Mentor Concert. Students participating in the Anthropos Arts program showed their skills as they improvised solos alongside their mentors at their end-of-the-year performance.
The Anthropos Arts program organizes instructors from college professors to Grammy-winning performers to work with students on an individual basis. Students are pulled out of band class to their private music lessons and, at times, instructors include information on other subjects so the students can understand the larger context of the music they play.
Students displayed a portion of the music they learned from vast cultures on the Stubb’s stage by playing tunes like “Trane’s Slo Blues” from Jazz musician John Coltrane and “No Aguanto Mas” by Celia Cruz.
Throughout the school year, the students are exposed to local artists and/or award-winning artists from various cultures at music workshops with 1,000 kids in attendance. MultiGrammy-winning band Ozomatli performed at Travis High School for a free concert and the Rebirth Brass Band, a popular New Orleans band, played at Reagan as part of the workshop series, exposing students to different music.
Working as part of team to bring music to the schools has had a positive outcome. “Students that experience music stay out of trouble and have a higher percentage of going off to college,” said Dylan Jones, Founder and Program Director of Anthropos Arts.
In the last three years, high schools that were reporting a sixty percent graduation rate are reporting a hundred percent graduation rate for students in the program. Anthropos students have improved school attendance and community involvement. “We have seen every student in the Anthropos program progress leaps and bounds in their musicianship and attitude,” said Director of Bands at Martin Middle School Kevin Isaacks. Eighty percent of the students in the program have gone on to college, with some going on to study music.
Participating middle schools in the music program are Webb, Kealing, Martin, Dobie, KIPP, Pearce, and Manor, in addition to Reagan, Lanier, LBJ, Eastside Memorial, and KIPP Collegiate high schools. The mission of Anthropos is “to promote equal opportunity in music education.” By exploring their musical talents, students have increased self discipline, pursue goals, and developed ambition with an increase in self esteem.Article by Monica Pena Photos by Carol He and Lanie Anderson