SJO Happenings...

March is National

 Music in Our Schools



                                                                                                                               Collage by student at Lincoln Elementary School in Long Beach , CA

"Music in Our Schools" month is the National Association for Music Education's annual celebration during March which engages music educators, students, and communities from around the country in promoting the benefits of high quality music education programs in schools. 


SJO’s Feature School of the Month

 Farragut Elementary School

Culver City, CA

Third Grade Instrument Workshop Series- Strings

At Farragut Elementary School, the SJO teaches it's "Music in the Schools" residency programming in 1st - 3rd grades.  Students in 1st grade receive 28 weeks of once weekly instruction in our "Playing the Bells" program.  Second graders participate in the “Bach to Bebop” 28 week program receiving instruction once weekly, and third grade students participate in the "Instrument Workshop Series".

3rd Grade Instrument Workshop Series Featuring Strings

String, woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments are demonstrated by professional musicians and the students get a chance to play them during the hour long workshop sessions. Each month beginning in February, a different family of instrument is featured. These workshops lead into the school district’s band program opportunity. The workshops give students a chance to play an actual instrument and to learn more about them while deciding if they would like to join their school’s band. All elementary schools in the Culver City Unified School District (CCUSD) offer a band program which continues into the middle and high schools.

Workshops for the current school year began last month and featured instruments from the strings family. Professional musicians visit each of Culver City’s five elementary schools during the four month workshop period. 


For the strings workshop, four musicians played a mini-concert demonstrating the various sounds of the violin, viola, and cello. They played pieces ranging from Mozart to Jimmy Hendricks! Musicians are Chris Woods, left, Rachel Grotenhuis, Adrienne Woods, and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson.


After an introduction and performance, musicians and students form “try it” areas. The students rotate among each instrument’s area to get a try at playing it. For many, it’s their first time holding and playing a real musical instrument.


Musicians show students the different parts of each instrument and how each renders its unique sound. Many students ask why there are holes in string instruments, or are curious about what types of materials are used to make the bows. SJO musicians take the time to answer each curious question.

About Farragut Elementary School

Farragut is one of five CCUSD elementary schools. Its current enrollment is approximately 650 students. Farragut has been designated as offering education with an arts and technology focus. Currently Farragut conducts bi-weekly visual arts instruction for all grade levels. It also offers a variety or combination of music programming, story-telling/theatre, and dance programming to all of its grade levels. The school has a computer lab and classrooms have access to iPads for instructional use. Visit for more information.



 Chris Coleman, Christian McBride, Dave Grusin, and Lee Ritenour 

Recording Session January 19, 2015 

SJO Concert & Recording of

George Duke's

"Dark Wood: Concerto for McBride"


Lee Ritenour's

"Symphonic Captain's Journey"

The 67- member Symphonic Jazz Orchestra with special guests Christian McBride, Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, John Beasley, Chris Coleman, and Marvin "Smitty" Smith played to a full house on Sunday January 18th at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center at Cal. State Long Beach as part of it's "Arts for Life" series. This free community concert was conducted by SJO's Music Director Mitch Glickman, and featured George Duke's "Dark Wood: Concerto for McBride" and Lee Ritenour's "Symphonic Captain's Journey". 

On January 19th the SJO and it's special guests recorded the same music pieces. In addition to recording "Dark Wood" and "Symphonic Captain's Journey", pianist Bill Cunliffe joined the ensemble for the recording of "Rhapsody in Blue", the work that started the symphonic jazz genre 90 years ago.

The recording project is slated for release in late summer. If you would like to pre-order a CD for $25 please click here

SJO would like to again thank all of our supporters for your generous contributions. With your assistance, this recording became a reality!

George Duke Legacy Project Supporters 

For information about the George Duke Legacy Project, please click here 

Many thanks to those listed below and to those who made anonymous contributions. 

Chester & Tee Wang . Darlene Chan . Jinko Gotoh . Steve & Cindy Ruth . Stephen Bland . Nigel Williams. The Knossos Foundation . Michael Grienauer. Anne Finestone . Simon Goodall . Suzan Glickman . John Harris . Marty Ashby . Kit Thomas . Jason Bland . Dena Dahilig. C. Brown. Kristy Morris . Leslie Adler . Patrick Collins . Trey Madhyastha . Bruce Lubliner. Robert Rick. Connie Eicher Bland . Esther Cervantes . Tim Newenham . Barbara Jansen . Lester Gibo . Michael Banks . Lisa K. Karpf . Ray Robinson . Alex Shapiro. Kerri Glickman . Edward Dumlao . William R. Weathers . Stephen Rowe . Madeleine Crouch . Jay Goetting . Buell Neidlinger . Leonard & Caia Sasso . Edythe L. Bronston . Timothy Leaks . Darrell Spree . Johnny Walker . Geoff Bland . Cicely C. Mitchell . Adam Overacker . John Newcott . Peter Pelican . Nancy Gilliam . Alex Wallace . Calvin Smith . Sibyll . Tin Hoang & Leia Nghiemphu . Raul Midon . Clint Rosemond . Evelyn Vannozzi . Angela Flavors . Jericca Cleland . Ellyn Kusmin . Jonathan Charles . Barbara Abell . Booker White . Carolina Shorter . Chris Tucker . Darlene Martin . Audun Dertz . Mark Berg . Terri Coffsky . Leslie Baker . David Worrell . Gary Fry . James Goldenberg . Barry Tate . Betty C. Tuggle . Ken . Christine Whitaker . Genevieve Conaty . Steve Rubin . Andrew Papastephanou . Will Haines . Becky Brown . Jeff Mallory . Sean Barrett . James W. Wilson . Ralph Grierson . Rondi Charleston . Miles Porter . Samantha Marrs . Gary Stager . Robert Cloud . Adrian Coulson . Melissa A. Weber . Merle Kreibich . Patrick Ludwig . Darryl Dogan . Bonnie Wacker . Mike Peak . Howard Banchik . Perry & Eileen Dworkin . Donna Chinn . Stephan Fredrich . Gina Kronstadt . Gou Noborio . Ron Anderson . Susan Gordon . Mary Hafeli . Ernest Dickerson & Rose Geddes . Debra Peterson . Stacy & Denton Fisch . Hidenori Ueki . Rika Davis . Rose Ellen & David Glickman . Misato Shinohara . Peter Gontha . Jon Charles . Georgina . Sheree Johnson . Mark Olsen . Sharon Lapid . Dr. Stephan Dumas . USA for Africa . Tootie Heath . Pearl & Howard Davis . Barbara Glickman . Barbara Jansen . Chini Taylor-Johnson . Victoria Hornstein . Melissa Hager . Joe Soldo . Michael Flöer


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Founded in 2001, the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra is a non-profit organization dedicated to perpetuating the uniquely American genre of symphonic jazz through its commissioning program, and inspiring the next generations of listeners through its “Music in the Schools” program, and Community Outreach Program.   Learn More