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         On a cool fall day, seventh and eighth grade students from Kent Center School visited New York City.  The first stop was Lincoln Center where they began with a tour of the main buildings: The Vivian Beaumont Theater, Avery Fisher Hall, The New York State Theater, and The Metropolitan Opera House.  Tour guides pointed out amazing works of visual art, including the architecture of the buildings themselves.


While at Avery Fischer Hall, the students stopped in for a demonstration of styles of jazz music by a remarkable sax player and his backup trio of young musicians from around the world. In addition, they heard a lecture about the Harlem Renaissance by Mr. Stanley Crouch, a noted jazz musician, author,and winner of a 1993 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award. KCS students listened carefully to the presentation and asked some interesting questions.


Students then clambered back aboard the two busses and headed off to Harlem. Each bus had a tour guide to point out places of historical interest marking the period of the Harlem Renaissance, such as Malcolm X Boulevard or the statue honoring the great jazz musician Duke Ellington.

Students had the opportunity to enter a jazz club and try improvising on stage while surrounded by photographs of famous musicians who had shared the same spotlights at an earlier time.

The tour wound past museums, research foundations and historic residential neighborhoods.  The experience introduced students to a diversity not found
in Kent.


The grand finale of the tour was a stop at the Apollo Theater.  The theater
is in the midst of a major reconstruction project, but students were able to proceed on a tour of the facility including the auditorium itself, the new dressing rooms, the stage, and a gallery of photos feting the entertainers
who have stood on center stage.  A handful of students even had the
thrilling experience of rubbing the stump for good luck before their debut performances on the stage of the World Famous Apollo Theater!


Many thanks to Miss D’Ambrosio for organizing this fabulous trip and to the ArtsAlive@KCS for partially funding this cultural adventure!