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Intersection: Jones High Musicians Bound For Carnegie Hall

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Jamaal Nicholas leads the Jones High School band in rehearsal, April 2017. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Students from the Jones High School wind ensemble and the concert choir are bound for Carnegie Hall for a performance next month.

A fundraising campaign for the trip caught the eye of Ellen DeGeneres, and last month band director Jamaal Nicholas and choir director Andrea Green appeared on her show, Ellen, and Walmart donated $100,000 to help the group hit their fundraising goal.

This Sunday the groups will hold a final concert at St. Luke’s UMC in Orlando before their Carnegie Hall performance.

“Myself and Mrs. Green the choir director are both graduates of Jones High School,” says Nicholas.

“And so we are very well aware of the traditions of both the instrumental and choral programs here, and we are blessed and humbled to be able to carry on those traditions,” he says.

Nicholas says the performance will be life changing for the 42 students from the wind ensemble and the 45 from the concert choir.

“I’m hoping that this experience will move all of them from just consumers of music to wanting to be life long creators and sharers, even educators of music,” says Nicholas.

“But an experience like this is what it takes. It’s a life changing experience, and these students I’m sure, and myself, will never be the same.”


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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »