Blues In The Schools
The GCBS has been a pioneer in the realm of Blues in the Schools. Under the leadership of board member Maria Chavez, all of the school-age kids in Grand County have been immersed in the blues. Not only have they been entertained by the all the programs that have come their way, they have been on the stage, creating their own “bluesical” and giving performances on the festival stages over the years.
The program is a necessity for any self-respecting blues society, but the GCBS has taken the kids very serious and have spent countless hours teaching them about the art form.
Dan Treanor at a Blues In The Schools presentation.Each year has been a musical adventure created by Maria’s passion for not only the music but her passion for young people. The GCBS has funded all the programs by raising money and finding grants. No school has ever had to pay for any of the visiting artists.
The GCBS brought long time Colorado bluesman and educator Dan Treanor (left) in from the start. Known as the “blues guy” by Grand County youth, Dan has spent many hours with the kids now. They have grown up with his stories of the origin of the blues.
The GCBS has also brought Michaela Rae Knox in when she was just a ten-year-old. She wowed the young girls and boys and became a role model for some. We think she might have given her first autographs at the Fraser Library.
The Saskatoon Blues Society couldn't have said it any better, “Music education enables students to interact with sound, simultaneously engaging mind, body, and spirit. Through creating, performing, and listening to music, students experience the ways in which music evokes and conveys thoughts, images, and feelings. Music education makes a valuable and unique contribution to students' intellectual growth, and integrates intellectual and emotional development. Shared experiences in music significantly contribute to the development of a healthier society through activities that respect and reflect the diversity of human experiences. Music education enables all learners to explore, create, perceive, and communicate thoughts, images, and feelings through music. These experiences are unique and essential, and make a significant contribution to learners' lifelong development as educated citizens.”
Check Out The Music
In 2006, the Grand County Blues Society (GCBS) partnered with the Grand County Library District (GCLD) in order to get instruments into the hands of young people displaying an interest or affinity for music. This began the endearing “Check Out the Music Program.” Through this program, folks throughout Grand County could borrow instruments from their local library, using their library card. Acoustic guitars, electric and bass guitars with amplifiers, keyboards, youth-size guitars, drumsticks and drum pads were donated by GCBS to Grand County libraries and were available to the public—for FREE!
The popularity of the Check Out the Music (COTM) program grew daily as word was spread about it. With that popularity came some great triumphs: