The Lone Star Wind Orchestra and St. Philip’s Percussion Ensemble offers weekly after school musical enrichment designed to provide children in the South Dallas community with the opportunity to learn, explore, and improve their musical skills and technique through the lens of the African Diaspora.
The program is intended for children of all skill levels and is divided into a beginner group and a more advanced performance group. This differentiation allows for more targeted lesson planning and instruction, as the groups meet on different days of the week. The program curriculum not only focuses on classical concepts such as notation, playing technique, and rudimentary studies, but also focuses on cultural precepts that permeate drumming practices of the African Diaspora such as voicing, improvisation, communal roles, and collectivism in the music.
Students study the music, history, and concepts from Guinea, West Africa, and its derivatives in the Americas in countries such as Brazil, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the United States. Students have the ability to learn with diatonic marimbas, chromatic xylophones, drums, and other auxiliary percussion instruments.
The St. Philip’s Percussion Ensemble regularly performs at community events and the world-class Dallas Arts District venues.
“I am excited to work with the St. Philip’s Percussion Ensemble as these students are at the apex of elementary school music performance. With the instruments, instruction, and opportunities provided by the Lone Star Wind Orchestra, students learn to be better musicians and citizens, both of which are lessons they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”
Menkiti Rice, Program Director and Conductor
Vignesh Ramdas, Project Coordinator