Bravo Waukegan Offers Free Virtual Music Instruction to District 60 Students

  • Bravo's talented guest musicians include: (top row from left): NSO Music Director Mina Zikri; Violist Drew Forde; (bottom row from left): Pete Tashjian and Daniel Trahey of the Collective Conservatory.Submitted by Bravo Waukegan

    Bravo's talented guest musicians include: (top row from left): NSO Music Director Mina Zikri; Violist Drew Forde; (bottom row from left): Pete Tashjian and Daniel Trahey of the Collective Conservatory.Submitted by Bravo Waukegan

 
Amy Sekili
Updated 6/15/2020 10:10 AM

During a time when virtual lessons and events are commonplace, nonprofit Bravo Waukegan puts a new spin on virtual learning by offering a free virtual summer program to District 60 Waukegan Public Schools students. Bravo Buddies takes place June 15 -- July 10 and features two virtual individual music lessons each week, as well as 'Fun Friday' virtual events for all participants.

"We are thrilled that we can offer this program free of charge to District 60 students," said Karey Walker, Bravo Waukegan executive director. "During this time of uncertainty, we felt if was our duty to provide a meaning music program that didn't put further financial stress on families."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

A total of 114 students have registered for the program, and Bravo has put in place a strong team of talented college music students to teach the lessons.

Guests for the Fun Friday sessions include Mina Zikri, Music Director of the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra. The NSO has been an innovative community partner to Bravo through instrument drives and by providing opportunities for Waukegan families to attend NSO concerts free of charge. Mina's session will focus on inspiring the students to continue their pursuit of music, and he will share his experience in working with an orchestra and independently. Guests Pete Tashjian and Daniel Trahey, of the Collective Conservatory, will lead two Fun Friday sessions covering the topics of music, movement and mindfulness. Guest Drew Forde, a violist and Julliard graduate who is one of the most-followed classical musicians on social media (known online as That Viola Kid), will share his insights with students.

Bravo's partnership with District 60 began 10 years ago and has grown to impact approximately 7,000 students each year. "We appreciate Bravo's commitment to the students of Waukegan," said Lori Massimo, District 60 Fine Arts Coordinator. "Bravo's support provides our talented students and teachers with additional opportunities to perform and grow as musicians, and it also enables students to grow academically."

In addition to the virtual camp, Bravo is in the process of developing an online experiential music library that will be available on its website to the general public. "We are working in partnership with the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra and other music partners to provide fun, informative and useful links to music instruction and concepts through our new portal," explained Walker.

Bravo Waukegan, a 501(c)(3) organization, began as a grassroots effort to help boost music programs within the Waukegan School District. Ten years later, Bravo has become an integral partner in supporting music education in the schools. In a highly diverse and underserved district, Bravo brings a variety of resources to Waukegan's music students and their teachers. Bravo's office is located at the Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois, Lake Forest, Ill. To learn more or to make a donation, visit our website at https://www.bravowaukegan.org or call us at (847) 722-5821.

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