FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – March is Arts Education Month and educators are using this time to show why art is important to all students.
To Kerman High School’s Mariachi de Leon, there is a wealth of musical talent in Fresno County schools.
“We hope the public recognizes that our students are both talented and that they put a lot of work and practice into the beauty of the moment when they perform,” explained Michele Coper with the administrator’s office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools.
Looking for a way to showcase this talent, Aaron Bryan, director of visual and performing arts at the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, got an idea, inspired by NPR’s Tiny Desk concerts.
“I just loved the idea of being able to see these massive entertainers these huge stars like Adele and Anderson Paak and all these folks but in a super intimate setting,” said Bryan.
His version of that is the FCOE Lobby Concert series.
It gives musicians a chance to play before a small intimate audience, in this case, employees of the office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools.
“I’m definitely nervous in the beginning but usually about halfway through I start to actually get into it and whenever someone enjoys it and comes up to use and tells us how great it was and like I just touched that like I’ve been about to touch other people as well,” said Penelope Freeman, a student at University High School.
An outdoor courtyard proves to be the best setting for Mariachi de Leon, a group started by the choir and band directors at Kerman High School.
“I’ve always been a fan of the music and I just thought it sounded really fun and when I joined it was fun,” said Maria Ramirez of Kerman High School.
Bryan says the lobby concert series has not only been great for the young musicians but it’s also given the employees a chance to see the students they support.
“Live music in an office setting is I think something that can really, it can transform the day for people who work every day in this case they work to support students all throughout Fresno County,” said Bryan.
There are three more lobby concerts planned over the next few weeks.
The series has been so successful that the county office is planning to bring it back next year.