Transit Vocal Band

Friday, April 28, 2023

Grade Level         Time
5th  Grade                        10:00 am
6th Grade                         1:00 pm

In "SANKOFA: African American Music from Spirituals to Hip Hop" students will learn elements of Storytelling, Improvisation, and Call, and Response in American Music.

A brilliant mix of TedTalk-style interactive lecture with an exciting live band, SANKOFA educates and entertains. Students learn about the oral tradition through the West African storyteller/poet known as the Griot; explore coded language in Spirituals; join musicians on stage to discover improvisation in Jazz; learn call and response in Reggae, and party with their teachers to some classic Hip Hop. Developed by Pierce Freelon, a college professor, hip hop artist, and father of two, this performance is entertaining and informative for all ages, taking careful steps to use tone, vocabulary and interactions that specifically relate the corresponding age of students. Sankofa is consistently lauded as "the best assembly EVER" by students and faculty alike.

Beautifully rebellious and refreshingly original, The Beast is one of the most imaginative bands to emerge from North Carolina's burgeoning music scene. The Durham-based quartet fearlessly navigates worlds of hip hop and jazz with compelling lyrics, progressive compositions and a gripping live show. The Beast is dedicated to education and cultural outreach. The group has developed workshops on creativity, improvisation, and the history of African-American music based on the Blackademics Hip Hop curriculum founded by emcee Pierce Freelon. A professor of African American Studies at UNC Chapel Hill and NC Central University, Freelon's workshops have reached a multi-generational audiences from New York to New Delhi.

This project is supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

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Curriculum Connections: Music, History, Listening/Communication Skills, & Visual & Performing Arts

Zak Morgan’s wit has been compared to Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss. Zak is a children’s musician with a focus on the curriculum areas of literature and music. A Grammy nominee whose unique brand of children's music delivers songs and poems with wit and charm, he inspires and tickles the funny bones of children and adults alike.

In Zak’s family-friendly concerts, you can expect a fast-paced, entertaining and interactive concert that creates a world filled with music and imagination, where anything is possible if you try hard and believe in yourself!  Zak’s educational concerts are interactive and full of wordplay, centering on the themes of reading, imagination, kindness and perseverance.

When he is not writing and recording, Zak performs family concerts throughout the country. His live performances are filled with musical stories, laughter and warmth as he encourages children to read, imagine and believe in themselves.

In a Zak Morgan concert, students use their voices, creativity and body movements to join in the fun.  Morgan’s educational concert offers a study guides with activities for both music education and arts integration with life science facts, literary devices, reading skills and confidence building. In addition, teachers can access thirteen interactive lessons for classroom use at a variety of grade levels supporting creative writing and reading comprehension. Concerts for PreK to 2nd grade focus on confidence building, reading, listening, imagination, and teach basic music lessons including simple rhythmic, melodic and chordal patterns.

“One part musical genius and another part fantastic storytelling…Not only are these whimsical little tunes with quirky tales interwoven between each note, but (they are) amazing stories that have depth, detail and Zak is a master storyteller.” ~

“Of all the musical entertainment I have hired over the years, Zak Morgan is by far the best. His charisma and talent are unprecedented. I continue to recommend him to anyone and everyone. There is no audience he can’t entertain.” ~  Destination Imagination Region 14, Morrow, OH


Curriculum Connections: Music, Science, Ecology, Language Development, Listening/Communication Skills, & Visual & Performing Arts

Billy Jonas Trio

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Grade Level         Time
3rd  Grade                        10:00 am
4th Grade                         1:00 pm

Curriculum Connections: Music, Dance, Geography, History, Listening & Communication Skills and Visual & Performing Arts

Curriculum Connections: Music, Dance, Geography, History, Listening & Communication Skills and Visual & Performing Arts


"SANKOFA: African American Music from Spirituals to Hip Hop"

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Grade Level         Time
7th  Grade                        10:00 am
8th Grade                         1:00 pm

2022-2023 Class Acts Schedule of Performances

 Transit Vocal Band is a high-energy a cappella group that has entertained audiences throughout the US and has produced award-winning albums! Their cast of professional musicians have experience teaching K-12 and college-level students. They have educated and entertained for over 850 school audiences since the group was formed in 2005. This highly interactive educational program will trace the historical development of the contemporary a cappella genre. Students will learn about ways science and technology enhance the a cappella sound, whereby inspiring the creative utilization and improvisation with the most natural instrument of all – the human voice!

In this program, students will compare and contrast the characteristic sounds of various popular musical genres (eg. Motown, Country, Jazz, Rock & Roll, Rap/Hip-Hop, Pop, Beach Music and EDM or Electronic Dance Music). With respect to each of the aforementioned genres, students will: 1) become familiar with the historical and cultural context imperative to their development; 2) observe and differentiate between performance styles unique to each; 3) hear the improvisational techniques used to vocally imitate complex sounds, both instrumental and inorganic, unique to each (e.g. harmonicas in country music or synthesizers in EDM); 4) witness how creativity and artistic innovation allows the transformation of a song between genres; 5) discover and observe how essential specific percussive patterns are to the groove or rhythmic "feel" of each genre; and 6) become familiar with age-appropriate musical concepts and vocabulary exemplified by each genre!

Zak Morgan Trio

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Grade Level         Time
1st  Grade                        10:00 am
2nd Grade                         1:00 pm

Billy Jonas believes that creating a bright future starts with kids. Using homemade and recyclable "re-percussion" instruments, songs that celebrate community, as well as personal and planetary ecology, his think-outside-the-box educational performances occur at schools, colleges, universities and libraries around the country. Billy’s goal is to plant musical seeds, that will help grow creative, open-minded, engaged and open-hearted citizens of the world.

Some ask: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" Billy Jonas asks: “What is the sound of 600 sets of keys jingling on the downbeat? And how shall we inspire the audience to do it?”  For 25 years, Billy Jonas, performer, singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and educator, has perfected the art of the neo-tribal hootenanny around the globe - original songs performed with a generous dose of audience participation. Jonas and his band perform using voice, guitar, and industrial re-percussion - homemade creations of buckets and barrels, keys and cans, bells and body percussion. Each concert is a soul-spelunking, heart healing, joy-filled journey of spirited music that is accessible to anyone and everyone, regardless of age or cultural background.

Billy developed his craft in the late 1980‘s as a founding member of the Oberlin College Big Bang Theory performance art collective. He refined things further in Chicago during monthly “Bangalong with Billy” shows at the No Exit Cafe, and subsequently in the 1990‘s as a co-founder (with Bill Melanson) of the funky folk duo The Billys. He currently tours with The Billy Jonas Band, which was honored with an invitation to perform at the White House in 2010.

Jonas has received numerous honors and awards, including an American Federation of Independent Musicians 1st place/Gold, multiple Parents' Choice Golds, and a New York Times “Best” listing. Billy Jonas has shared stages with many renowned artists, including Alison Krauss, Peter Yarrow, Keb' Mo', Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kathy Mattea, Paul Winter, Michele Shocked, Justin Bieber, Ani DiFranco, David Wilcox, Richard Thompson, and Pete Seeger.