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A major thrust of our educational effort involves an "outreach" program to bring jazz music and its rich history to school children who would ordinarily not have exposure to it. In 2006, Jazz in schools began as a series of free jazz education at the elementary school level. Its mission is to teach the fundamentals of jazz to young people in an effort to offer greater understanding and exposure to jazz as they go through their school careers. Jazz in schools has now expanded its series to the secondary level. The program is directed toward guiding students to an appreciation and understanding of music, while expanding cultural awareness and a discriminating aesthetic sense through developing the highest quality of musical proficiency as possible. The philosophy of the jazz in schools program is to promote the development of jazz in Tampa Bay by providing vibrant, excellent educational opportunities for all students; by encouraging artistic integrity and creativity. Our aim in Jazz in schools is primarily to address the lack of exposure and interest in jazz and to assure that each child will grow to be a well rounded music consumer.
The Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association feels it is an honor and a privilege to reward high school seniors with scholarships who work the hardest, show the greatest commitment and are among the brightest and best of Tampa Bay's high school musicians. Each year several high school seniors receive scholarship rewards to help them continue their education. Students are selected on the basis of an established record of excellence in practice of music (performance, composition, academics, strengths) and a strong commitment to music. The goal of the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz association has been, and continues to be, to provide the aspiring musician with an environment to achieve their professional goals. Our commitment is to nurture the talent and career of young artist and to draw upon the resources its uniquely able to offer.