USF School of Music offers free classes to the community
The University of South Florida College of The Arts is on a mission to make the performing arts more accessible to the community. Standing by this mission, the USF School of Music has launched two, 10-week courses for free as a part of its USF Community Music Project. Open to nearly all ages and levels, this semester’s courses are Shades of Broadway and Beatmakers Club. “We want to be a welcoming bridge to the community,” said Francesca Arnone, Community Music Project coordinator and assistant professor of flute instruction.
Taught by Allyssa Jones, director of Vocal Ensembles, Shades of Broadway focuses on musicals created by underrepresented composers on Broadway. This semester’s show is "The Wiz," composed by Charlie Smalls. “Musicals by Black and Brown composers are not the first thing that come to mind when people think of Broadway. It’s not because they don’t exist. It’s because we’re often unsung and undersold,” Jones said. “To make room for these voices, I felt we needed a low-impact, high-yield gateway to introduce these shows and composers to the general public in a hands-on way.”
Shades of Broadway singers are learning about "The Wiz" and its composer, exploring character development as it relates to singing solos in a choral setting. At the end of the course, they will perform a concert. The course is open to all ages and has attracted an intergenerational group of students ranging from college to elementary, including two mother-daughter duos.
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