Students jam with Vanterpool and Delappa in music class

POSTED: 02/12/13 12:04 PM

St. Maarten – Last week local musician Connis Vanterpool and New York native Jonathan Delappa visited the music classes of Dennis Tjon at the St Maarten Academy – Academic section. This was not the first time for Connis Vanterpool in Tjon’s classes. Jonathan Delappa is a New York based trumpeter, performer, arranger, publisher and music educator. He is a native of upstate New York, coincidentally not very far from Tjon’s former undergraduate College.

The duo lectured to the students, performed and even improvised with some students. Delappa, who teaches music in grades five through 12, spoke about a variety of topics such as improvisation, the importance of music theory, Jazz, Funk, Hip Hop and more. The students were enthusiastic and asked many questions. It was a very interactive learning experience for the students and a nice opportunity for the artists to take time off from performances to also share some of their knowledge with the local students.
The students also joined the jam session in song, rap, on steel pan, guitar and drums. One of the talented students was Jabari York, Mighty Dow’s son, who has been learning and playing music from a young age and who has a strong interest to pursue further musical studies at the Berklee College of Music after graduating from the Academy. Dennis Tjon believes that it is very important for students to get exposed to such sessions and to hear things from a different perspective. In recent years other artists visited his music classes such as saxophonist Miek Miek, violinist Jan Bouman and Juilliard trained composer Wim Statius Muller and his grandson, an aspiring concert pianist.


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