2010 November

Roots of Music: After-School Music Education in Post-Katrina New Orleans

Wednesday, November 10, 2010    4:30 – 6pm

This was a special workshop celebrating the legacy of our 2010 American Music Masters – Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew, with special guests from New Orleans’ acclaimed Roots of Music program (co-founded by Rebirth Brass Band musician Derrick Tabb).

Learn more about the Roots of Music program here.

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The Roots of Music Program fills a void in music education programs in New Orleans educational institutions.  Where marching bands were always an integral part of the New Orleans middle schools, this has changed drastically after Katrina and many schools don’t offer music programs anymore.  Today the program serves over 100 students, making up a full marching band that is successfully parading the city since Mardi Gras 2009.

The program provides music education in history, theory, instrumental instruction and ensemble performance. Furthermore, academic tutoring is offered to ensure the students maintain at least a 2.5 GPA in school.

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Roots of Music Guests at Teachers Rock

Allison Reinhardt, Program Director/Co-Founder of Roots of Music

Ms. Reinhardt began her career in the music industry in 1996, working closely with New Orleans musical legends.  Ms. Reinhardt has extensive experience developing marketing strategies for the bands she represented, such as Rebirth Brass Band and Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers.  Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, Allison was proactive in becoming a communications specialist/contact between musicians and national non-profit organizations.  She offers experience in grant writing, marketing music, strategy development as well as implementation.  Ms. Reinhardt has contributed her expertise in operations, event coordinator and financial officer.  Her role in The Roots of Music has been essential to getting the program off the ground.

Lawrence Royal Rawlins, Band Director for The Roots Of Music Marching Band

Mr. Rawlins has served in this position since the beginning of ROM. He has been teaching and guiding children for over 15 years. Early in his start, he directed the John F. Kennedy Band part of the Orleans Parish School System for 6 years, happens to be his Alma Mater. He noticed that the talent of musicians coming to Kennedy and other high schools in New Orleans, was fading. He then decided to take on the task and move to  the middle/Jr. high level.
 
Mr. Rawlins has accomplished a lot during his time as a band director. He is the Co-Founder of the Orleans Parish ALL - STAR BAND in New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Rawlins help lead The Louisiana Leadership Marching Band to The Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena California in 2007. He has a number of former students who are professional musicians today. He was french horn section leader in his high school band at Kennedy and his college band at Southern University A&M College at Baton Rouge.  Mr. Rawlins' father served as Grammy winner, Mrs. Irma Thomas ( Soul Queen Of New Orleans) drummer for over 27 years before his death.