High school bands take center stage
Cyril Jefferson is not much older than the students he instructs at Andrews High School, but has taught them skills that could last a lifetime, through music.
Jefferson, 21, is the percussion instructor for Andrews’ band, the Marching Red Raiders, and its drum line, Red Smoove. He is a graduate of Andrews and attended Howard University. He played in the marching band at both schools.
In a Coach Carter-like scenario, Jefferson has revamped the band program along with band director Jane VanMiddlesworth and marching coordinator Brandon Davis.
“We’re trying to expand the student’s educational, musical and character horizons,” Jefferson said. “We aren’t just teaching them music, but teaching them how to be the best people they can be.”
Jefferson has made the band program into a college prep program. He holds the student-musicians accountable for their grades, teaches them about other cultures and requires community service.
“A lot of times, students don’t get to see much outside High Point or the Triad. We’ve had Native American and African drummers here so they can learn about different cultures and we’re bringing in instructors and recruiters from colleges,” he said. “The biggest thing is reaching the kids. If you can reach them, you can teach them.”
Red Smoove, along with more than 500 Guilford County Schools’ students, will perform on the county’s biggest stage on Thursday.
Guilford Education Alliance will host On Stage! at War Memorial Auditorium to showcase the visual and performing arts talents of students from Guilford County public schools.
“You will be absolutely blown away by these students,” said Margaret Arbuckle, executive director of Guilford Education Alliance. “There is no better way to encourage their talents than to be there to cheer them on.”
Proceeds from On Stage! support the missions and initiatives of Guilford Education Alliance and arts education in Guilford County Schools. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to local school art education programs.
On Stage! will be held 7 p.m., April 11 at War Memorial Auditorium. Tickets are $15 each or two for $25 and available online at Ticketmaster.com or by phone at Tickets are also available at the Greensboro Coliseum box office. All tickets are reserved seating.
High Point Central, Penn-Griffin and Southwest Elementary will also be performing in the show.
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More than 15 Guilford County schools are performing at On Stage! on Thursday at 7 p.m. at War Memorial Auditorium in Greensboro.
• High Point Central High School - “Genesis” Chorus and Jazz Band
• Penn-Griffin School for the Arts - Harp Ensemble and High School Dance Ensemble
• Southwest Elementary School Song Spinners
• T.W. Andrews High School Red Smoove Drum Line
• Dudley High School Dance Ensemble
• Alamance Elementary School Chorus
• Frazier Elementary School Show Choir
• Jesse Wharton Elementary School Recorders
• Morehead Elementary School Dance and Drum Ensemble
• Northern Elementary School Gospel Choir
• Northern High School Jazz Band
• Northern Middle School Orchestra
• Pearce Elementary School Show Chorus
• Peeler Open Elementary School Ensemble
• Sternberger Elementary School Chorus
• Sumner Elementary School Chorus
• Weaver Academy for the Performing Arts Dance and Piano (as one group) and Theatre