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Getting jazzed up for spring break
The Tom Woods Quartet, from left, Paul Fallat on drums, Sam Skelton on saxophone, Matt Stallard on bass and Tom Woods on the keyboard, perform for Lanier Elementary students on Friday morning. - photo by Robin Michener Nathan

It’s not quite spring break without a musical send-off.

At least, that’s the treat fourth- and fifth-graders at Lanier Elementary School got on Friday, when teacher Robin Galloway arranged for the Tom Woods Quartet to visit her classes and perform.

The visit was made possible with money from the Arts in Schools program, which is run by The Arts Council. Gladys Wyant, director of the Arts Council, said the program helps make sure schools have live artists coming to the classes, “Whether it’s performing, artist or literary.”

“It’s a program of The Arts Council that we developed in 1980, and at that point there were no music or arts teachers at the elementary school level,” Wyant said.

Tom Woods, who played piano as part of the quartet, said this was a unique opportunity for the kids to see professional musicians, each of whom has recording credits to his name. The music of the Tom Woods Quartet can be heard on The Weather Channel, and is also played on radio stations around the country, he said.

Woods said Galloway found his band through a guide put together by the Arts Council, which lists artists available to the schools. Woods and his band have been playing together since 1979.

“She just perused through the list and had this interest in jazz, and they had never done anything like that at the school, and she thought it would be a worthwhile endeavour,” he said.

“These kids are going to get a chance to hear really high level jazz musicians right in their school, and that’s what’s so unusual about it.”

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