Mt. Vernon Middle School 8th Graders celebrated Black History Month in February with an annual live jazz concert featuring many genres, including blues, rock, R&B, and contemporary/pop. This private concert celebrating music performed by famous black Americans is always a big hit with the students. The band played music performed by Prince, Louis Armstrong, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Lenny Kravitz, James Brown, among other notable black American musicians.
The band consisted of an all star lineup of local musicians. On keys and lead vocals was Allen Burke, who has toured with the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and the Spinners. Burke is also a member of the Indiana Jazz Hall of Fame. Mt. Vernon Alumni, now Band Teacher in Zionsville, Chris Murray, joined the band on trumpet. Completing the band was local guitarist, Casey Harshbarger, TJam on vocals, Austin Shearer on Bass, Josh Weirich on Saxophone, and Mt. Vernon Middle School Principal, Ben Williams, on drums.
Mr. Williams shared, “Music can change the way people think. Music can change society. Music can change the world. Overall, the goal is to take kids on a historical tour of music that has changed America for the better.”