May 25th, 2010
For Immediate Release
Guitars In The Classroom
GITC, CAC, DOJ
and AMIGO Team Up
To Promote Literacy,
Culture and Art
Education, Achievement and Awareness.
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
San Francisco, CA
- June 3, 2010
Oakland, CA - June 9, 2010
For tickets and information please
contact Colibri at www.colibrimusic.com,
"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
the California Arts Council at www.cac.ca.gov and the California Department
Of Justice at ag.ca.gov.
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 www.guitarsintheclassroom.org|