Mt. Vernon Middle School 8th Graders celebrated Black History Month on Friday, February 3rd with an annual live concert featuring Principal Benjamin Williams on the drums and an all-star line up of local pro musicians. This event, for the 6th year in a row, is a part of the celebration of February's Black History Month.
Williams states, "Music is inclusive and brings people together. Music can change the way we think and see the world. Overall, the goal is to take kids on a historical tour of music that has changed America for the better." The performance featured many genres: blues, jazz, R&B, rock, and contemporary. The 8th grade staff says this concert is always a big hit with the students, as it celebrates music performed by famous Black Americans.
The band played music by Kenny "Baby Face" Edmonds from Indianapolis, Lenny Kravitz, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Hendrix, Duke Ellington, among others. The band includes Allen Burke on keyboards/vocals, who has performed with Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, and The Spinners. Allen was also recently inducted into the Indiana Jazz Hall of Fame. The band also includes Lead Vocalist – T-Jam (Timmy Edwards), Bass – Austin Shearer, Guitar –Casey Harshbarger, and drums/vocals – Benjamin Williams.