Harlem Students Jazzed About Upcoming Holiday Concerts

Arts School Hosting 2 Free Performances Saturday

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Students at the Harlem School of the Arts can’t wait for showtime.

As CBS 2’s Alex Denis reported, singers, dancers and a jazz band, all 8 to 17 years old, will host a pair of free holiday shows Saturday. The young performers are part of an after-school enrichment program that prepares them for a future in the arts — music, dancing, theater or fine arts.

“We’ve worked really hard … like intensely hard,” said Zhadee Ford, 12, of the holiday show.

The performances begin at noon and 7 p.m. at the school located on St. Nicholas Avenue between West 141st and West 145th streets.

Students at the Harlem School of the Arts rehearse for their holiday show. (credit: CBS 2)

Students at the Harlem School of the Arts rehearse for their holiday show. (credit: CBS 2)

“You see that the music is being passed down through generations, and I hope in general for every genre that it will continue,” said Gabrielle Garo, 16.

Many of the students must overcome challenging obstacles to create remarkable performances that rival the best professionals in town.

“I don’t know where I get it from,” said Matthew Whitaker, 12, a blind pianist. “It just comes to me.”

“I think that everyone should be able to experience music and art and dancing,” added Naomi Christiansen, 13. “For other people to experience it who wouldn’t otherwise be able to pay for something like that, it just feels like we can get everyone to have a chance.”

Christian Smith, 12, said those who will attend the show should be prepared for “awesomeness.”

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