Grant helps bring more musicians to DISD's Carter High

DISD Grant

DALLAS -- Some students at Dallas ISD’s Carter High School are getting a chance to take advantage of more resources to help explore their creativity through music.

The Fine Arts Chamber Players just announced a $30,000 grant for Carter High School. The money will allow the students greater access to one-on-one lessons with teaching artists, or professional musicians dedicated to helping the students with their artistry.

The second-floor piano lab was busy with students playing classical selections Wednesday. Each student was carefully listening to John Mark Tatum as he hovered over their pianos. Tatum is a professional musician who has toured the world.

“Boom... Bum. Bum... Boom,” Tatum sounded, as he kept time while students played through their selections.

Kenolyn Kadia, 17, has been playing the piano for about five years. His peers consider him somewhat of a prodigy.

"I can connect more with classical than any genre,” he said.

Kadia says he is a shy teen who speaks through his music.

“I definitely want to play the piano and inspire other kids,” he said.

The Fine Arts Chamber Players says its grant will help more students like Kadia and his peers get access to professionals who can give them one-on-one lessons on campus.

Tatum said he has witnessed southern Dallas students who never imagined their potential in music blossom into skilled classical artists.

"A lot of them are talented enough to actually get into college,” he said.

The Fine Arts Chamber Players says its goal is to make music -- especially classical music -- accessible to students.

The organization’s executive director, Rachel Assi, says the grant is significant during tough budget times for many schools.

"We use all local musicians from the Dallas area, so everyone who works in our schools is local,” she said.

It is all about access to resources and opportunity.

Kadia said his family landed in Dallas after moving from Cameroon and Italy. Teachers who recognized his talents bought Kadia a piano a few years ago. The teen says the lessons are helping him find success.

“I’m glad that the rest of the students are going to be able to have that kind of experience,” Kadia said.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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