By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The finale of the Summer Music Workshop, presented by All Access Arts, Arts Council Oklahoma City’s arts education initiative, and Bring Back the Music, will be a two day Master Class featuring Grammy award winning artist P.J. Morton.
The Master Class, held at Millwood Arts Academy, 6700 Martin Luther King Ave., in Oklahoma City, will begin on Thursday, July 9 from 1 – 3:30 p.m. The second session will take place on Friday, July 10 at 9 a.m. and conclude with a mini-concert in the Millwood auditorium at 1 p.m.
The goal of the summer music work camp is to provide a supportive environment for young musicians to have fun playing music with other youth, while developing their music and teamwork skills.
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Morton is a singer, producer, writer, and keyboardist for the pop/rock band Maroon 5. He is the son of famed gospel singer, Paul S. Morton.
Morton will be accompanied by his 7 piece band featuring the Good Times Brass Horns, who performed in the Tyler Perry movie “I Can Do Bad All By Myself”.
These nationally renowned musicians will instruct students individually and in ensembles, and will discuss the music industry’s changing landscape.
Bring Back The Music (BBTM) is an innovative performing arts educational program that targets the most vulnerable students particularly those from Title One Schools.
The workshop provides students the opportunity to perform in bands, vocal ensembles and as solo artists.
Whether students are musically inexperienced or are curious about trying a new instrument, this camp offers a chance to learn basic skills on guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals, while also learning to play songs in a band.
All accomplished musicians, workshop instructors will share their expertise with the students and will discuss the important role teachers and mentors played in their own lives.
The workshop is designed so students will develop improvisational and reading skills. They will improve their technique in private lessons, and interact with well-known faculty and visiting artists through lectures and demonstrations.
The program provides an introduction to, and emphasizes the mastery of performance skills in each student’s chosen style of contemporary music including jazz, pop/rock, funk/fusion, or pop/R&B.
Students grades 5th through 12th from throughout the Oklahoma City metro area have been accepted into the program. Students with documented enrollment in Millwood Public Schools are admitted free of charge. No student will be denied admission based on an inability to pay.
The last days of the six-week workshop will be open to music students at metro area colleges and universities.
On Thursday evening, July 9, Avenue 101, located at 5929 N. May Avenue, will host PJ Morton and his band for a concert performance at 9:30 p.m. Popular local R&B band Shortt Dogg will open the show at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Advanced tickets are $15 and can be purchased online. Tickets at the door are $20.
“Mr. Morton is here to support Bring Back The Music’s Summer Music workshop by facilitating a Masters Class for the students in our program,” said Johann Kimbro, BBTM Executive Director.” PJ will be accompanied by his 7 piece band, which includes Mr. Melvin Jones, trumpeter and former music director at the prestigious Morehouse College.
“Get your tickets now for the concert event of the summer,” Kimbro added. “Come out and enjoy these Grammy Award winning superstar musicians in an intimate club environment – up close and personal.”
All Access Arts, formerly named Community Arts Program, brings music, dance, and visual arts education to under-served schools, libraries, OKC parks, and community agencies.
Produced by the Arts Council OKC, All Access Arts serves approximately 20,000 people annually.
Arts Council Oklahoma City is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to bringing community together through free or low-cost cultural events and a variety of arts outreach activities that impact underserved populations.
For more information, call 405-270-4848 or 405-627-0847.