Thirty-five Dirksen Junior High School band students were treated to a visit on Zoom from Bluegrass Ambassadors program director Ben Wright who plays a banjo professionally. The musician shared with the students how he became a professional banjo player as an adult and started a bluegrass band. He also discussed the business of being a musician and all the places he has traveled through the American Music Abroad program. The Joliet Public Schools District 86 Band Director Laura Armstrong arranged the visit for her students.
“It is so important to expose students at a young age to a variety of instruments,” said Joliet Public Schools District 86 Fine Arts Coordinator Adam Rusek.
Districtwide, approximately 388 students (grades 5-8) participate in band, 524 students (grades 5-8) in orchestra, and 109 students at Dirksen, Gompers, Hufford, and Washington Junior High Schools take choir. The junior high students meet every day while the fifth grade students meet twice per week.