*Carl Oser, profiled in the story below, plays at Cafe Corsa in Nov...
USC Thornton School studet Carl Oser wrote "P.S" at the end of the email:
“I've attached to this email an mp3 from one of our rehearsals last year when I directed the jazz choir at the 32nd Street Elementary School. If this doesn't make you want
to be in an elementary school jazz choir, I don't know what will.”
When you click
play and listen to the mp3 and amid giggling, laughter and pure joy – the most touching rendition of the Gershwin classic – “They Can’t Take That Away from Me.
Oser, 20 and on his way to a music degree from the USC Thornton School of Music, directed the 32nd Street/USC Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School jazz choir last year. And this year he’s the director of the debut choir at the Dr. Theodore T. Alexander, Jr. Science Center School.
All will perform at the USC Thornton JazzReach Concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 13
at Alfred Newman Recital Hall on the USC Campus.
The winter concert program highlights a multi-faceted approach to education and experience that not only benefits the community but also teaches valuable lessons to USC students, said Susan Helfter, director of Outreach Programs for Thornton
The Thornton School’s outreach
programs bring the sound of music to nearly 7,000 local kids, exposing them to jazz, choir, big band and ensemble music. USC students not only perform for the schools in special concerts but they also teach their craft to elementary, junior high and high school students.
In addition to two brand new choirs from the Science Center School and the choir from the 32nd Street/USC Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School, the concert will feature the junior high jazz ensemble from the Foshay Learning Center and the L.A. Youth Jazz Ensemble High School All Stars.
“I devote so much time and energy toward this because I love music and I love being able to share it with others,” Oser said. “Teaching elementary school children two days a week is definitely a reminder of how fun – and transformative music-making can be.”
The musicians (except for the Ensemble All Stars) are all from members of the USC Family of Schools, a partnership between USC and 14 schools surrounding the University Park and Health Sciences campuses to provide educational, cultural and developmental opportunities to more than 17,000 children.
Oser teaches as part of Thornton’s JazzReach program, an after-school music program that touches 1,250 children from the University Park and Health Sciences neighborhoods using 70 USC students each year. It is funded in part by the USC Good Neighbor’s Campaign, which just raised more than $1.2 million for neighborhood programs
“The point of the JazzReach program is not to make great musicians, it's to make great people,” Oser said, “And it's an honor to be part of that process.”
The USC Thornton School students are solely responsible for the children’s performances and afterschool training. The USC students direct the concerts, pick the music, run rehearsals, set up performances and work with the schools.
The learning doesn’t stop there. The music industry majors from Thornton record the groups in the studio, produce the tracks and create a CD of the performances.
“These programs were started because of faculty vision and momentum, but they are largely run by the Thornton students,” Helfter said. “This informs who they are as a human being. We consider it part of our musical citizenship.”