Thursday, March 13, 2008


SoulSchool Spring Break Concert!

Wednesday, March 19th - 7 p.m.

Buckman Performing Arts Center

Featuring Stax Music Academy Students joined by Internationally Renowned Kirk Whalum & Music Directors/Performers from Berklee College of Music

Admission: $5

The Soulsville Foundation is happy to announce that its Stax Music Academy’s SoulSchool Spring Break Concert will be held Wednesday, March 19th, at Buckman Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. and will feature Stax Music Academy students joined by visiting Music Directors from Berklee College of Music and Internationally Renowned Kirk Whalum.

About SoulSchool Spring Break:

When the Stax Music Academy began programming at Stafford Elementary School in the summer of 2000, before there was a Stax Music Academy building or the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the people behind the Soulsville project knew they were onto something. Some 225 children spent six weeks at Stafford in the Stax Music Academy SNAP! Summer Music Camp and had their first Grand Finale concert at the University of Memphis on July 14, 2000.

Since that time, of course, the Stax Music Academy and Stax Museum of American Soul Music, along with The Soulsville Charter School – all under the umbrella of the Soulsville Foundation – have opened and have reached thousands of lives of the community’s primarily at-risk young people.

So popular has the academy been among its students, that in 2006, the school had to create a program for them during what was their spring break from their regular schools. When most students were thrilled to have a week out of the classroom, the Stax Music Academy students wanted to do something special during that week instead.

That year, the academy created a program named SoulSchool Spring Break, and opened it up to students from throughout Memphis and Shelby County with a paid tuition fee, but still offered scholarships to those in financial need. The academy conducted an intense three-day workshop for a group of students, and brought in music producer, writer, and performer Philippe Saisse, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, who had worked with everyone from Tina Turner to Billy Joel, Luther Vandross, Rod Stewart and dozens of other music icons. The students learned all original music in the three-day workshop and performed a concert with Saisse at the Buckman Performing Arts Center. They has Saisse back year for a repeat performance, this time with then-new Stax Artist in Residence Kirk Whalum, the internationally known saxophone player, composer, and performer who is also a one of Memphis’ favorite hometown sons.
Now, in its third year, next week’s Stax Music Academy SoulSchool Spring Break will bring more Berklee alums, as part of a new and active partnership the Stax Music Academy has forged with the prestigious music school in Massachusetts, where, by the way, two Stax Music Academy alums began attending last fall.

Two of the Berklee Music Directors who will conduct the workshop are Nichelle Mungo and Winston Maccow. Mungo is a voice instructor who has worked with Natalie Cole, Andrae Crouch, Patti LaBelle, and host of other famous singers. She is a three time winner of Showtime at the Apollo and is an accomplished singer, choral director, performer, and certified music instructor. Maccow is an assistant ensemble professor who has appeared with Nancy Wilson, Urban Renewal, Flying Elephants, and many others, and is s guest speaker and clinician at two conservatories in Denmark.

As part of the Stax Music Academy’s mission of mentoring students through music education and unique performance opportunities, both Mungo and Maccow will teach the students about more than just music.

According to Maccow, “What I try to get out my class is leaders. Everyone’s supposed to lead,
Everyone. I put people on the spot just to see how they’re paying attention to things. I’ll say, 'Okay, next week, I want you to lead.' Or I don’t even say that. I just say, 'You’re going to lead today.' In my class, you’re always on your toes. It’s the only way to develop leadership. You’ve got to be on yourtoes in the real world.”

For more information, please visit or call 901-946-2535.


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