Mark Young

Boise Blues Society,

When I first contacted The Boise Blues Society about visiting my classroom, Ken Harris was extremely responsive and motivated to make something work for my students. We discussed how to best serve my students and came up with a two visit format. Mr. Harris came out by himself and gave the students an improvisation clinic as well as a brief lecture about the origins of blues in America. His energy and humor was a hit with the students. They left that day energized about blues and excited to work on their improvisation skills.

After looking at my program and working with us, Mr. Harris noted that we could really use a synthesizer piano to aid in our program. Two days later I had an email in my inbox from someone willing to donate a keyboard to us and our program, all thanks to Mr. Harris and his hard work.

The Following week Mr. Harris brought with him 4 professional musicians who all gave masterclasses in improvisation for my Jazz band. These musicians played solos, created background parts, and motivated the students. I have about 50 kids in my jazz program, and when we gave these students a chance to improvise, more of them stepped up to play than I have ever seen before. This is a testament to the Boise Blues Society and the energetic yet comfortable environment that allows students to feel comfortable doing something they might otherwise be apprehensive about. Mr. Harris and the others then took students into small groups and discussed specific pedagogical things students can work on to improve their improvisational skills.

The smiles and positive body language leaving my class that day was contagious. Having the Boise Blues Society come to my classroom was an amazing experience, one that I would have paid to give to my students. But luckily for us, this service was completely free for my program and other public schools. Thank you to Mr. Harris and all of the Boise Blues Society for this tremendous opportunity you gave to my students.

Mark Young

Band Director

Hillside Junior High

David Gluck
Music teacher, Idaho Arts Charter School

The Boise Blues Society offered a brilliant and soulful presentation at the Idaho Arts Charter School in Nampa, Idaho. Our students were so engaged, enthused, and deeply inspired. The Boise Blues Society’s event had a perfect combination of performance, Blues oriented music theory and historical context.

I highly recommend their presentation for students of all ages! It’s an enriching experience!

Heather Ray
Borah High School

The Boise Blues Society came on two separate occasions to work with the Borah High School Student Jazz Vocalists and Instrumentalists. We had a great time. The groups were fun to work with and very well prepared. Not only did my singers get a real chance to experience blues, but they all were given solo opportunities and fun percussion instruments were brought to keep all of the students engaged! Our second experience brought some VERY talented and knowledgeable members. This was for my jazz instrumental combo. It was neat for my students to see a combo that had NEVER played together, come together so quickly. It was perfect that two of the four had experience playing in local HS combos for the HS Jazz choirs so they really could talk to the kids directly about their experiences.

Thanks so much for the experience! Well worth our time! ?

Teresa Colebrook
Music Specialist/Choir Director Garfield Elementary School

Our kids here at Garfield absolutely LOVED your group!! Thank you SO much for sharing your music and your amazing energy with us!! Hope we can have you back again sometime!

Darryl Gerber

Garfield Elementary students and staff loved the presentation by the Boise Blues Society Band! They were entertaining and educational. We enjoyed learning about the history of Blues music and discovered how different instruments can “bend” musical notes. While the band was playing, it was difficult for students not to jump up and dance to the music. Thank you for this opportunity to expose our school community to the Blues!

Melissa Mitchell
Kindergarten Teacher Koelsch Elementary

Our kindergarten class was clapping and rocking out the entire time. The Blues Society made it so engaging, entertaining and fun!

Erin Scott
Teacher Koelsch Elementary

The program was absolutely wonderful! The music was great and I thought the way the information that was presented to the kids about the instruments and different kids of blues music was very “kid friendly.” I loved it!