JAS launches instrument program for students | AspenTimes.com

JAS launches instrument program for students

Staff report

JAS, Jazz in schools, JAS Showcase at the PAC3, Rifle High School Jazz Band, April 18, 2014

Jazz Aspen Snowmass is launching a new program in its growing public schools initiative, the nonprofit announced Wednesday.

The JAS In-Schools Step-Up Instrument Program, launching this fall in local schools, is intended for more advanced student musicians who are ready to either stop renting an instrument and purchase one for the first time or to step up from a student-model instrument into an intermediate- or professional-quality instrument.

"Many music students in high school band and jazz band programs are still playing on the instruments they began with in fifth grade," instructor Chris Harrison said in a statement. "Not only do those instruments start to need considerable and expensive maintenance, but they don't help our young community musicians truly excel and achieve their true potential, hindering the development of the student as well as holding back the overall level of the musical ensembles themselves."

The goal of the new program is to encourage and financially assist local students and families to acquire intermediate- to professional-quality instruments so they will be better equipped to succeed in their musical goals and ambitions. Families can apply for available funds and are eligible to receive assistance from Jazz Aspen for as much as 50 percent off the cost of the new instrument.

"Through (Jazz Aspen Snowmass) partnerships with music retailers, we are able to acquire the highest-quality instruments at the very best prices," said Andrea Beard, Jazz Aspen's director of marketing and sponsorship. "We are very excited to be able to put these instruments into very deserving hands."

For more information on the JAS Step-Up Program and other JAS In-Schools Music initiatives, visit http://www.jazzaspen snowmass.org or call 970-920-4996.