Guitars In The Classroom
May 25th, 2010

For Immediate Release
Jessica Baron
Guitars In The Classroom

To Promote Literacy, Culture and Art
Through Education, Achievement and Awareness.

Bay Area Concerts Showcase Groundbreaking Bilingual Classroom Programs.


Alisa Peres, recently named director of Guitars In The Classroom's (GITC) popular and powerful AMIGO program, has announced that a special series of interactive concerts featuring the acclaimed bilingual musical group, Colibri, has been scheduled to take place in northern California during the months of April, May and June. Funded by a grant from the California Arts Council and Department of Justice, the concerts are free to the public, open to all ages and, along with Colibri, will include "sing-along" performances of traditional Spanish-language songs by Alisa's AMIGO-trained classroom teachers and their students.
The first participatory concerts took Place in Oakley and San Pablo, California. The community came out en force; families arrived with younger siblings and children dressed in their Sunday best to stand on stage with their teachers and Colibri to sing for the audiences in Spanish and English.

Still to come are the following participatory concerts to take place in Oakland and San Francisco, California.

Oakland, CA - May 26, 2010
San Francisco, CA - June 3, 2010
Oakland, CA - June 9, 2010

For tickets and information please contact Colibri at, 510-204-9091.

The AMIGO Project"The population of English Language Learners (ELL) in our schools is growing rapidly and AMIGO gives classroom teachers a way to engage and inspire these students to learn English and do well in all subjects through a fun, effective, musical approach. This work builds their
confidence in the classroom and honors diversity and cultures," says Alisa. "Our research makes a good case for the power of music integration to help close the ELL achievement gap."
Thanks to support from the California Arts Council and the Department of Justice, these upcoming concerts and GITC's collaboration with Alisa and Colibri mark a significant expansion of the AMIGO and GITC over-all program model, according to the organization's founder and executive director, Jessica Baron. "Working with Colibri has allowed us to expand to our ability to bring music to education by involving artists as teacher trainers," Jessica explains. "This very special arts grant gives GITC the chance to create free community concerts led by Guitars in the Classroom artist-instructors in a dual role that GITC has not tried before. The AMIGO concerts featuring Colibri will include performances by local classroom teachers and elementary school students! We invite and encourage the whole community to attend."
"AMIGO has achieved a lot so far in its first few years, and we are excited to discover its true
potential to bring education to life through music," Alisa continues. "Our work merges arts education with academics and multi-cultural education through song-based instruction during which the classroom teacher accompanies her class "choir" on guitar." For example, one of the Spanish-to-English AMIGO songs is the Bread Baker's Song from Chilé. In addition to teaching English to Spanish-speaking students, the song can also be used to teach the country's history and geography as well as its culture to the entire class. I believe that AMIGO has the power to throw the doors and windows to learning across the curriculum wide open for English Language Learners and all students. As AMIGO's director, I look forward to taking these next steps."
In addition to directing the AMIGO program, generously funded for the last two years by the NAMM Foundation, Alisa is also a member GITC Board of Directors and the Chairperson of the GITC Education Committee. As Colibri, Alisa and Lichi Fuentes create a musical bridge between children in the U.S. and those in the Spanish-speaking world. The duo has presented over 500 concerts and workshops since 1989. Learn more at Contact the California Arts Council at and the California Department Of Justice at

Guitars In The Classroom is a non-profit organization that provides innovative musical training for classroom teachers so all students can experience the joy and essential benefits of making music. Its programs deliver ongoing instruction, access to instruments, and educational materials that weave music across the academic curriculum in sustainable, grassroots programs, nationwide. For further information or to get involved, please contact GITC at 858-755-2239 or go online at