To celebrate the two days of intensive learning, Camp DJ VTEC will culminate with the students performing with Trombone Shorty live at the House of Blues on Saturday, Feb.19.
Camp DJ VTEC, a music camp for at-risk students in urban Houston, has awarded 25 scholarships to students from Pershing Middle School. The camps kick off at Pershing from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 18, with modern music theory, recording and structured jam sessions.
On Saturday, Feb. 19 from 4-8 p.m., students will travel to the House of Blues for a chance to meet and perform with New Orleans jazz artist Trombone Shorty.
The camp’s namesake, Vincent Markesino (DJ VTEC), has high hopes for the camp in its inaugural year.
“The goal here is to inspire young musicians to break out of the typical genres of music and really create. Our theory, ‘Fusion Jam Band,’ encourages a wide range of musical instruments and styles to meld together in semi-structured jam sessions. This allows the students to break out of the box and become musical innovators,” Markesino said.
Pershing Middle School is a fine arts magnet school at HISD. Students in grades 6-8 have the opportunity to participate in chorus, band, orchestra, guitar and music production classes at a critical age in their musical development. In 2010, the school’s music production class won first place in MENC’s NSBA Student Electronic Music Composition Competition and the Pershing orchestra received Sweepstakes at the UIL concert and sight-reading competition.
“The students at Pershing are incredibly excited to be performing with Trombone Shorty,” said Mark Wurtzel, the music production teacher at the school. “We’d like to thank Camp DJ VTEC, The House of Blues, and Trombone Shorty for this amazing opportunity. Unfortunately, budget cuts threaten the very existence of programs like these in HISD next year including opportunities like this one. I encourage everyone to support the music and art programs in our schools and our community.”