Jazz at the Lincoln Center Presents

On Friday, March 8th students at the FSU School of Theatre were given the opportunity to observe and participate in a masterclass taught by Mandy Patinkin. Mandy Patinkin’s illustrious career precedes him. He is an American actor and singer known for his roles in theater, the concert stage, film, television, and as a recording artist.

On Thursday, March 7th, Bria Skonberg hosted masterclasses for two Leon High School Jazz Bands. Skonberg is a trumpeter identified by the “Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents” initiative as an up-and-coming musician and a rising star. Bria Skonberg (Trumpet, Vocals, Co-Music Director), along with Benny Benack III (Trumpet, Vocals, Co-Music Director), Jocelyn Gould (guitar), Jon Thomas (piano), Charles Goold (drums), and Mark Lewandowski (bass), have been touring their show “Sing and Swing”. This includes their performance hosted by Opening Nights at Tallahassee’s premier variety venue: The Moon.

Skonberg’s time at Leon High School was split between two jazz bands composed of students in 9th-12th grade. Throughout the masterclass, Skonberg emphasized the importance of coming together as a group, both physically (i.e., strategic positioning to see each other) and musically. She told students that sometimes the best solution to your problems is simply having fun and getting into “the groove”. Skonberg emphasized that with music, we shouldn’t overcomplicate things when music often comes naturally to us as humans. Skonberg shared with the students her experiences learning trumpet in a public-school band program, the same as they were. She told students that it’s possible to have successful careers in music even if they have not had the opportunity to have lessons like she had not. As the class concluded, she gave students who wanted to pursue jazz careers advice to listen to as much music as they could and to play in as many combos as they could.